It’s hard to believe but it’s been over two years since HCK!’s first offering. We’ve come a long way, the growth is apparent, looking back at those first posts is a rad experience realizing just how tangible of a difference between then and now there is and how many people have helped to make this one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This also marks the 100th post for HCK! making today’s mix all that more important for me to get right. Continue reading →
“Take It Easy On Me” is my favorite track from Gentleman Jesse And His Men‘s latest album Leaving Atlanta which slightly strips away the punk edge that originally attracted me to their sound back in 2008, leaving the spotlight on a strength of song structure and a nearly impossible sound not to sing along with.
“Take It Easy On Me” was meant for an 80′s montage or 2012 summer nights full of cheap beer and good friends, I’m stoked for the later.
Make friends with Gentleman Jesse And His Men – Facebook
Two things should be stated up front; Father John Misty is in itself one awesome band name, the second being the fact that J. Tillman chose to use it as a moniker rather than riding his own name and its attachment with Fleet Foxesfor further solo success is commendable to say the least.
Until recently I’ve felt that J. Tillman was just creative enough as a solo artist to justify leaving his former band as they were just beginning to make the unfortunate jump from scene to mainstream, all of that has changed completely with the birth of Father John Misty.
I’m not sure what caused it but something big has happened within Tillman, there is a new crystallization of creativity that has me more than stoked to jump on the FJM bandwagon. This is great music, for the first time I’m actually excited not only for what he has laid out in front of us but more-so for what absolute potential this new shift shines a light on.
Welcome to the spotlight J. Tillman you’ve sure as hell earned it.
Upcoming Austin Show:
Mohawk- May 26 w/Har Mar Superstar and Dana Falconberry.
Have you guys heard the 1,2,3Mifits Cover album? If not, you should!
As both a fan of 1,2,3 andThe Misfitsthis combination of the two still amazes me each time I press play.
I’m not sure why I dug up this release from last Halloween but it has been finding itself onto daily mixes these last few weeks. If you happen to be a die-hard Misfits fan and you don’t appreciate this more than likely it is from closed-minded biases rather than any real discrepancies with the sound, sure some of the piss and vinegar is lost in translation yet what we gain makes the loss justifiable.
The band has a kickstarter up to help get a new van due to how many shows they’ve had to cancel from their current van breaking down. These guys create incredible music and if you missed one of their many sets during this years SXSW you should definitely pencil them in at the top of your must-see live list, it wouldn’t hurt to throw down a few bucks to help make it happen.
I was a bit weary about how Paint It Golden would sound when it came out last fall. The thought of the band lacking Mindy White‘s perfectly fitting vocals and the chemistry they helped create within the band’s sound left me without an ounce of optimism for Lydia‘s future. So often in the past I’ve found myself wishing she sang more rather than typically working as an accompaniment, the few songs where she takes the lead were some of their best to date and the presence it brought to their albums was an absolute cornerstone to what made them great.
The dirt that all parties were throwing in each others direction didn’t help bare the loss much either. At the point of their hiatus things seemed bleak with enough drama to fill an MTV reality show, all members seemed to have something negative to say about the band as a collective . So now Mindy is out and the two founding members Leighton Antelman and Steve McGraw are all bro’d-up once again, I’m not sure what happened, I guess sometimes friendship trumps creative differences.
Enter Paint It Golden and the complete shock I had upon finally listening to it last week. This album is better than good, it could quite possibly be their best album yet. There is confidence, there is style, it’s a even a bit more grown-up (for a band I previously would have full-on labeled Emo this is important), and yet the engaging lyrics feel as personal and engaging as ever. All things considered I’m left wondering if White had stayed with the band and they continued on their previous course would I have liked it? Probably not, my sulking-in-emotion drowning-in-depression days are a ways behind me.
There’s a line in the sand between maturing and selling out and thank god Antelman and McGraw chose the side that allows me to continue cheering for them and having great music to coincide with my own life and the memories they have/will attach themselves too.
At this point the only thing I’m not thankful for when it comes to things Lydia related is the fact that they are still touring in support of crap bands like The Maine (I’m sure the guys are good people and all but I’ve seen them live and it sounds like an auto-tuned pre-mixed prime example of all that destroyed a thriving important scene I once held so close), grow some balls guys! Wouldn’t it be better to play shitty bars in dive towns than ride the Alternative Press pre-pubescent bandwagon? I’m not a supporter of business decisions rather than artistic ones and Lydia‘s current tour seems to follow the first route.
At the end of the day, with my judgements on touring decisions aside, I’m glad I hadn’t written these guys off, it definitely would have been my loss. My fingers are crossed they keep it together this time.
I was sitting up last night listening to the new Said The Whalealbum and this song came to mind. I can now say that Little Mountain has shifted from being an album I chose to hate for unimportant hopes that they would have gone a different direction with their sound to one of the main albums I’m listening consistently to. I’ll say this and move on; why do bands never strip things back? It’s always more production, more production, more production with each album until they are undeniably fitting into the clear-channel playlist void of complete sell-out garbage. That’s what bothers me about Little Mountain, sure it’s a great album but it’s a small step towards the dark side, just for once I want a band to get heavier or folkier or go from clean to lo-fi rather than the complete reverse, seriously if Springsteensat down in his kitchen and recorded a new album by four-track as he did with Nebraska it would most likely be the greatest album he’s made in thirty years, I would much rather hear an artist with all their flaws than hear how well a producer can polish over them.
“Apples” is what I was hoping for when I download Little Mountain because it would have been a step forward in songwriting strength for the guys without losing that swing your mug backyard campfire vibe that made songs like “The Light As You” kick the door to my heart open. That’s enough of STW.
Alamo Race Track are a band who have been creating a homogenous sound of music for ten+ years. Their the perfect mixture ofBishop Allen and the aforementioned Said The Whale without losing their own distinct sound, standing out within all comparisons.
It is only April and I have included Old Gray on three mixtapes already. If “Ryan Mitchell Made Me Do It” wasn’t one of the best song I’ve heard since uncovering “Belly Of The Best” last December and before that “Wilderness Eyes” last summer I wouldn’t continue inundating you with their music, after all you can lead a horse to water or some shit.
This song comes from their Demo‘s EP (free through their bandcamp link below) and fully embodies, without missing a single aspect, each and every quality that makes me passionate for music and keeps me shuffling through band pages and blogs all night.
It’s like Fat Mike once said, “the record player spinning the best times I never had, so why do my old records make me sad? Cause they’re so bad and no one seems to understand the glory of guitar when out of tune, the off timing, the singers who can’t sing, the beauty of flaw.” Those few lines define what it is that makes me hold onto the music I LOVE with such closeness as to occasionally lose sight of the fact that a specific song and I as an individual are not one and the same when it feels for those few endless minutes that we are.
Sure I appreciate all types of music, I understand (or at least think I do) the indefinable characteristics that makes the difference between what is good and what is not, like how I can confidently say that Wilco are generic but Whiskeytown were great, but it’s the music that goes beyond labels and definitions that truly bonds with me and causes everything to fall into place, to clear away the chaos and confusion that has become my day to day life and for those brief moments help everything to just make sense. “Ryan Mitchell Made Me Do It” is one of those rare but important songs.
“We live in a dream and, when our lives are over, we’ll finally wake up and realize the world is asleep. We’ll empty our lungs and strum out our heartstrings; we’ll simply wake up and realize the beauty in life.One day we’ll scream and get rid of our demons- we’ll empty our souls, take the world off our backs. And as for me, well, I’ve been through some bad times, but I’ve kept my head up and imagined a place with just you and me. Some day the world will stop and so will our hearts. I love you so.“
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned I Am Fuel, You Are Friends – what is probably the best website in the world for music. Heather Browne has an ear for music which I can merely strive for and an elegance to her writing I could never even attempt. It was awesome to see her venture out in a very organic way when she began Chapel Sessions last year, much of the phenomenal acoustic music in my library has come out of those sessions.
Bryan John Appleby‘s take on the lyrically-sound Paul Simon song “Duncan” is quite possibly my favorite that has come out of the Chapel Sessions. It’s odd how close to the original Appleby keeps his version yet there’s something about it that feels brand new with a deep underlying sadness. Sure that has been a staple of Simon’s songs but this is a fresh sadness, individualized rather than all-encompassing as with all of Simon’s work especially with Garfunkel. I would dare even say that somehow that somber nearly melancholy semblance is what Garfunkel brought to the music which people so often overlook. It’s easy to see Art as just standing there and singing along, and sure Paul Simon was able to go on to define what it means to be a singer-songwriter on his own but it’s those early tracks that stand out, not for the structure but for the spirit they embody, many nights I’ve spent trying to figure out why. What changed? For much of my life I thought it was maturity, taking his approach from passion to professional yet it was when I first heard JBA’s version that this new notion came to me. It’s early in development as a theory goes so I can’t quite expound upon it but the question now is, how is it that Bryan John Appleby accomplishes what Paul Simon never could quite do on his own?
I’m not saying that BJA could write a song of this caliber, that is yet to be seen (we’ve still got time), but he sure as hell can breathe a whole new life into “Duncan” and that is commendable in itself.
Check out the entire Fuel/Friends Chapel Session here.
Listen to the difference for yourself – Paul Simon – “Duncan” -mp3
The best remixes, as with covers, are the ones that can take a great song and change it without losing any of the originals integrity. Copy‘s remix of this formerly chill Hosannas song moves “The People I Know” in more of the direction the original only hinted at in its development.
Nothing over the top is added or tweaked but “The People I Know” now has a drive to it which makes the experience feel more passionate. Marius Libman‘s eight-bit key addition is rather fantastic in itself though, I could listen to those ten second breaks sampled on repeat for an hour and never grow tired of it.
Let’s get back to something a little more visceral.
“Last Cab From Tunis” has a sound that I can only describe as a spot on mix of Real Estateand The Talking Heads, a combination I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t heard for myself.
These guys are out of Austin, I’m yet to catch them live since moving here but I’m hoping that changes in the very near future. A new album is due out in the next month or so, I haven’t seen an official date for it yet, if it’s anywhere near as good as what they’ve put out so far go ahead and count on seeing more of them on Heycoolkid!.
There’s much that can be taken from what is being said in “Lays At Rest.” Since we are all at liberty to make our own interpretation, I can’t help but hear a statement being made throughout this song that embodies the mindset of all those twenty-somethings I consider my peers. The whole burn it all down to build it back up, self-evaluation vs. self-destruction, the standing-still disguised as forward progress and the reality that sometimes we have to defend our decisions after the fact even when we’re not sure ourselves what we are doing, all of that is possibly in “Lays At Rest“. Then again this could just be an indie-pop break-up song.
I’m feeling like I should end this week in a bit more upbeat fashion than usual.
Most SNOWMINEsongs stand within their own unique psyche-pop sound so it’s more of a compliment than just an average reference when I mention how “Piece Of Your Pie” feels very similar to another of my Brooklyn favorite’s Bear Hands, only with more space and a little more swagger, yet the definitive difference lies within how this song is fueled by confidence and just enough experimentation to keep things original.
I really hope to catch these guys live this year. They keep sending me invites to shows in New York, it sure would be nice to have something more within biking distance, sure Lance Armstrong could make a trip out of it but for a half-pack-a-day smoker like myself it’s a little bit unrealistic.
I promise that next week’s post will have more new faces, I’ve been spending much of my time this year actually soaking in entire albums from bands rather than falling in line with A-typical hipsters who only know one or two songs from a band and pretends like they are a passionate fan. I felt somewhat like a fake when compiling my Best Albums of 2012list when I was actually hearing a few of them in there entirety as I was typing up the post. There has to be a balance for continually finding new worthwhile music while at the same time getting to enjoy the incredible art which has already been found, I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out. SNOWMINE create great art, so it’s only a half-assed apology I offer up. I may be lowering my chances of new followers, it’s worth the loss, what’s more important, them or me… not all self-centered decisions are bad ones, right?
Just when I thought I might actually make it a full month without putting up anOrca Orcasong Jim Hewett went and released “Say So.”
Comforting yet important, spacious but deep, might as well call it “Experiencing An Oxymoron” instead.
While “Say So” is playing I really want to come outright and say it is the best song on this weeks mix, as well as my favorite, unfortunately I can’t say that for sure, I’m pretty stoked to be closing out March with such a solid playlist, still without ranking it is more than worthy of a side-one track-one status on this weeks mixtape.
In February of 2011, on one of the first Heycoolkid! posts ever (Winterishly Trapped), I included a track from the band Chairs In The Arno, at the time it had been years since I’d heard anything from them and mentioned the hiatus in the review, turns out it wasn’t just a hiatus but instead the band had succumbed, as so many bands do, to life and parted ways.
So randomly last week I received an email mentioning the former bass-player for Chairs In The Arno, Jeff Knight‘s new project Endless Loop.
There are four Endless Loop songs getting steadily played on my ipod this week. There was a novelty to CITA that attracted me to them, novelty is fleeting and there is no remnant of it on any Endless Loop song, instead you’ll find charisma wrapped in an electro-pop blanket of understated confidence.
My favorite element within the Endless Loop sound is Samantha Hughes and her ideal vocals. “Across The Atlanta” is the perfect example where each time she joins in with Knight’s singing the two voices combine making things feel spot on, as if they were meant for the other’s.
More than likely I’ll be putting up some other songs from these two in the near future.
Here is that Chairs In The Arno track so you can contrast and compare.
I may actually enjoy this cover more than the original. I’ve dug Pictureplane for some time so that isn’t meant to take anything away from what he does, Health just know how to draw certain feelings from a song better than any other artist in the genre.
That guitar use is a straight forward way of setting the entire songs vibe which gets sealed completely by the Fleetwood Mac samples which destroy with angelic fierceness.
For some reason whenever I play this song I picture the Gleaming The Cube warehouse skating scene in my head (I watched Gleaming The Cube and Friday the 13th part six on repeat as a kid, which is not an exaggeration. Most kids had Disney movies, I had Christian Slater with Tony Hawk and Jason Voorhees soundtracked by Alice Cooper collaborating with Kenny Loggins).
—- Okay so I just pulled up the clip from Gleaming The Cube and figured out that if you start the song just between :12 and :13 and start the clip without sound, every time the deck hits the ground it goes with the beat… I know I’m probably the only person on the planet who cares about that combination but if you could have seen the little move I made when I got them aligned you might come close to understanding how much enjoyment I found at four in the morning by aligning the two together (think professional bowler after getting a winning strike, that whole elbow into the side reverse fist pump disgruntled “yeah” face thing they do… just happened)—-
Picture your favorite scary movie from the 80′s, now think of the one scene that you remember being both awesome and creepy at the same time, now imagine “Cold Hands” from V A L I S playing, tell me they don’t fit PERFECTLY together. The one movie above all others where this song would have absolutely killed in…. The Lost Boys ( another glorious movies that helped define my childhood).
V A L I S are out of Chicago and it is nearly impossible to find anything out about the electronic new comers (in part due to an extremely shitty band called Valis…there is nothing worse than old dudes who think they are making “rock” music,these are the same guys that throw the “rock” hand sign in every lame picture they take, you know what I’m talking about, and then the second being that three times in there bio it mentions that one of the members was once in Screaming Trees and then in the last paragraph it says “Say what you will about VALIS… Just as long as you can do it without using the words “trees” or “screaming” because Van Conner has stepped out of the shadows and landed front and center in what can only be described as a total reinvention of self,” don’t name drop your ex-[and much better]band and then talk trash about comparing the dude to them.
Sorry for the digression back to V A L I S the gnarly industrial/techno duo.
If you dig this song then take the time to follow the Soundcloud link below and check out some of their other stuff there, especially “Cobra” which is one hell of a song sampled around the Sylvester Stallone movie with the same title; if you’ve ever had a hangover on a Sunday there is a good chance you’ve seen it a few times like myself.
The number of friends who have that random clinging person who I wish I could just send this song out to are many.
The strength lies in the work Trentemøeller‘s put in allowing an escape from the lyrics themselves causing “Too Insistent“ never to have a chance at balancing out, things consistently changing to give numerous angles on the singular message.
1860 are an Icelandic band with a folk backbone and pop mindset. “For You, Forever” is a start to finish hold-hands and sing-along track meant for crush mixtapes and subtle playlist for co-ed drives.
I love that these guys do half of their songs in English and the other half in Icelandic which makes for a very enjoyable listen with their combination of confident steady lyrics and borderline swooning vocals. (Via)
More than any other band I’ve found in 2012 none have made me feel anywhere near as comfortable as The Parade Schedule. There is some unspoken undertone to Matt Kinder, a longing sadness of some sort yet deeper, for some reason I have instantly attached to it and more-so can relate with.
His fearlessness to weave his faith into his lyrics is of utmost importance to me and it pains me that so many other artists lack the courage to express who they are fully through their art. The Parade Schedule is genuine and I dig it.
I’m not sure what it is about “By And By” that I love so much but I do enjoy this track immensely. The first time I heard it I kept picturing the scene inThe Go-Getter (oh my love for The Go-Getter!) when Lou Taylor Pucci is helping his brother’s ex-girlfriend with community service by singing hymns to young kids, it’s one of my favorite movies and I realize these two have no real relation but that was the image playing in my mind, “By And By“ may now be my favorite from The Parade Schedule.
I recorded this just before leaving Indiana and have listened to it a good twenty times, I hope you listen intently so as not to miss the sense of awe that came over the crowd as “Towers Of Our Heart” developed.
This is the song Caleb McCoachopened his set with, I first heard it last fall at Broad Ripple Music Fest and have been eager to hear once again ever since, BRMF was also the first time I’d seen him joined on stage by the ever-so-talented Lisa Berlin on the keys.
Having caught him live so many times over the last few years I can say that the difference of having Lisa play along has not only helped transfer his sound in a completely new direction, there is also a calm that is apparent which she brings to the stage, seeming to ease the nervousness that before played an element of contrast to the music he performed. Oddly what that nervousness has been replaced by is a guy who is finally as massive as his lyrics have always been.
Caleb McCoach is easily one of the greatest songwriters living today and now he has a presence when performing that accentuates it. For a while I was afraid that Caleb would begin drifting off into that void of life so many artist dissipate into, it’s beginning to be clear that something more important is happening, a transformation, it is unbelievable to feel the change. His lyrics have always given me chills yet to be there and see a loud room transfer into wide eyes with open jaws mouthing “WOW” to each other felt epic, like stumbling into Cafe Wha? in the early 60′s .
Take everything you love about Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and possibly even Tom Waits (depending on which direction he eventually goes in) and I guarantee you Caleb McCoach fits right in beside them as an equal. He is one of the last remaining songwriting gunslingers, we need someone like him in music now more than ever.
He’s supposed to have a new EP coming sometime in the near future, I cannot wait to own it.
Here is a live take on my favorite Caleb McCoach song “Brother In The Kitchen” :
Finally some new music from the group that gave us one of the best songs of 2011 “Belly Of The Beast.”
Howthare a developing band out of Brooklyn who are one of those rare collectives to walk the fine line between solid controlled instrumentation and deep heavy lyricism.
Initially “Out In Eagan” is my favorite song from Newkirk which will be available on May 1st (you can stream it now through their Bandcamp link), although with such a strong effort I have a feeling once I’ve listened through it a few more times something else will take it’s place.
Bryan John Appleby has created one of the more organic songs I’ve heard lately, with it’s uncanny ability to drive rhythm upon rhythm that makes this song chug along with importance. “The Words Of The Revelator” is as much a necessity to see performed live as it is to throw on a mix to get your body moving in that uniform “yeah” motion.
“Like Vines” is more poetry than anything else. Joseph Williams using his Boyhood Bravery moniker puts out introspective sketches that are so well written that they make the stripped down nature to his recordings sound necessary.
i wore 3D glasses and i stared into your eyes you said “the stars look pretty plain tonight” and i racked my brain right there and then to try to find a solution to ‘when exactly did i start to bore you first?’ was it the first time i mis-quoted Bronte? (and by the way, she still bores me) or was it the ill-fated night of candle-wax? either way i knew back then, as the spectrum bled into a familiar colour, you’d found another.
i could write about the first time that i lay there in your bedroom i could write about the first time we were clay and we both moulded our bodies intertwined like vines on a National Trust building; but it wouldn’t change that things ended this way with you hating me just for liking you more than a friend should do.
take a look at all that happened; i bet it isnt how you dreamed it would be i still have your ring hidden somewhere i still remember everything.
All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like to have content removed email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know a band or are in a band that would like to have their music reviewed email me at the above address as well,( hard copies of albums won’t guarantee you a spot on a playlist but they will most definitely guarantee you a spot in my heart).