For a guy who probably doesn’t even remember the decade (he wasn’t even two when the grunge loving 90’s were ushered in), Alan Palomoaka , aka Neon Indian, sure does love him some 80’s. As one of the leaders of the chillwave scene (or whatever it is called these days), Neon Indian is back with their sophomore album Era Extrañ, which is as lush and sonically adventurous as their solid debut record Physic Chasms.
Era Extraña is about as slick and richly produced of an album as one would want, with a sharp, electronic sound that definitely isn’t going to be what everyone is looking for. From the Midi-pop euphoria of Midi euphoria of “Polish Girl” and “Halogen (I could be a shadow)” to the bristling pop of “Hex Girlfriend,” Palomoaka shows again that he has a clear talent at writing some juicy pop hooks. Like his previous work with Ghosthustler and VEGA, Palomoaka digs deep into his synth collection to create the chilly soundscapes that are the genesis of his songs. Songs like the dreamscape “Fallout” and the slinky, sexed up electro pop of the title track would have fit right in on the recent Drive soundtrack, which if you read my review is a compliment of high order. There are detours, such as the pop shoegaze of “Blindside Kiss,” but for the most part Era Extraña is a nostalgic, steely cold jaunt through the best of 80’s influenced electronic material.
Anything as laced in nostalgia, especially for the love’m or hate’m 80’s, can create some very polarizing material. This is too bad, because Palomoaka simply writes stone cold pop jams, he just happens to deliver them through a vehicle that is both trendy and easy to dislike right now. If you can get over the syrupy sweet synths and the too cool for school attitude, you will find that the songs at the core of Neon Indian are well deserving of the praise and attention they have received.
Before you finish reading this sentence, run to your bathroom and guzzle a bottle of Robitussin. That’s right, the King Remembered In Time got chopped and screwed. Big K.R.I.T., your favorite slow flowin’ rapper from the South, released Return of 4eva earlier this year–and now it’s been slowed down, picked apart, and rearranged by DJ Mike Watts, the co-founder of Swishahouse Records. Now you can hear all of the classic tracks from 4eva—”Rotation,” “Country Shit,” “Made Alot,” and “Free My Soul,” for instance—played at 65 bpm and diced to pieces. Perfect for a DXM trip. Download the mixtape for free over here.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONFERENCE SHOWS STUDENTS HOW TO SUCCEED
US Fed News Service, Including US State News April 15, 2012 HUNTSVILLE, Texas, April 13 — Sam Houston State University issued the following news release:
Criminal justice students got an insider’s view from professionals on how to get hired and succeed at jobs in the field at the second annual conference sponsored by the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice. website law enforcement jobs
“Students to Professionals: Where We Are to Where We Want to Be” provided panels of criminal justice professionals on resumes, interviews, internships, careers and lifestyles.
Greg Monteihl, an employment specialist with SHSU Career Services, provided tips on developing resumes, saying resumes should be a marketing piece to communicate the things you have done well and to stress the skills and experiences that make you a better candidate.
University Police Department Deputy Chief James Fitch told students what to expect during the interview process for law enforcement jobs, including a polygraph exam, criminal background check, and a panel of officers during the interviewing process.
A criminal record, like a drunken driving conviction, will knock you out of contention for most law enforcement jobs for up to 10 years. It’s important to divulge past indiscretions, such as experimenting with drugs or juvenile records, and to take ownership of mistakes and not blame outside influences. Any lies uncovered on an application or resume will lead to immediate disqualification, Fitch said. see here law enforcement jobs
“You have to be absolutely honest in this field,” said Fitch. “None of us are angels. We all make mistakes.” Terri McGee, assistant deputy director for Harris County Juvenile Probation, and Denise Kennedy, a former Texas Department of Juvenile Justice parole officer, encouraged students to pursue internships and consider more than one internship as well as volunteer opportunities, practicums or clubs to help build their resumes.
Georgia Haynes, senior court officer with Tarrant County Adult Probation, and Candice Williams, a clinical team counselor at Children’s Safe Harbor, provided tips on how to succeed on the job and get promoted, including interacting well with others, showcasing leadership capabilities, finding a mentor or shadowing a supervisor, and volunteering for projects to help build skill sets.
“You need to write and articulate what you need to get across,” said Haynes. “To write well and speak well is important in the criminal justice system.” For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org Julia May, email@example.com and Jennifer Gauntt, firstname.lastname@example.org
HTRK are a band from London-via-Berlin-via-Melbourne fronted by the scariest, toughest girl you’ve never heard of, androgynously ice-voiced Jonnine Standish. She’s probably in your basement right now, setting up her great, hulking drum, or putting the finishing touches on your new, unrequested sex dungeon, or shit, I don’t know, MAYBE BOTH. HTRK (or “Hate Rock,” as it’s pronounced) are the perfect soundtrack for the final, sputtering days of your desperate affair, 4am drugged out despondence, or just for your Leopold von Sacher-Masoch book club. In fact, next time you read the band’s name in your head, just pronounce it “Hate Fuck.” Because, really, with all the fevered sensuality and glacial detachment of their LATE NIGHT NOISE SLEAZE, that’s really pretty much what they sound like. And now, dear “kinda goth” reader, Michigan indie label Ghostly International are finally introducing HTRK to audiences in the US with the Sept. 6 release of their second full-length, Work (work, work).
A little background: nigh unto a decade ago, HTRK crawled out of the Melbourne, Australia underground scene and into the hearts of industrial noisemaker/porn star/sex intellectual Sasha Grey, the Birthday Party guitar player Rowland S. Howard, and failed musician/failed author/failed careerwoman/CLAP contributor Alison Stolpa. For awhile, the band’s main promotional photo was an aggressive, full frontal nude of HTRK members Jonnine Standish, Nigel Yang, and Sean Stewart, and the band seemed to be trying to “outskeeze Throbbing Gristle,” (as I wrote back in 2007), with song titles like “Rentboy” and “Shoot You Up.” Those songs contributed to the greatness of the band’s Rowland S. Howard/Lindsay Gravina produced 2009 release Marry Me Tonight, which came out on Mute Records (Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Liars) imprint Blast First Petite. With tours and one-off shows alongside the likes of Suicide’s Alan Vega, Lydia Lunch, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Horrors and Liars, the band seemed to be on the rise. (Well, as on the rise as a band that sounds like a female-led Swans fed through a Suicide effects processor can get.)
Then in 2010, bass player/programmer Sean Stewart took his own life. Work (work, work) is a collection of the then trio’s 2006-2010 era recordings, a sort of memento mori for Standish and Yang’s departed friend and bandmate. HTRK’s signature topics of desire, submission and degradation return for another late night slink through the flickering fluorescent lights of corporate hopelessness, but it’s a less cohesive affair than the self-proclaimed “pop record” Marry Me Tonight. There are fewer immediate standout tracks like album highlights “Skinny” and “Synthetik,” although Work contains a decent smattering of sleepers like “Bendin’” and “Slo Go.” As always, the band employs chopped-and-screwed slooooow 808s and bristling synth menace to take listeners on an atmospheric journey into the duality of seduction and desolation. Album opener “Ice Eyes Eis” is an actual recording Stewart made of late night Berlin TV sex channel ads layered over ambient noise and slowed down by Nigel Yang, in which a breathy Teutonic lust purveyor whispers empty promises to lonely viewers, and for a band so hellbent on portraying flat-lined emotions and atrophied desire, there’s nothing more poignant than the thought of the late Sean Stewart staying up all night to record the empty promises of sex and love for sale. Work (work, work) may not be HTRK’s strongest, but at times it seems almost as if, the band is working their way at a Robo-tripped out sloooooow pace towards the still beating heart of all that noise sleaze darkness.
-Alison Stolpa (originally printed in C.L.A.P. zine, Fall 2011)
It is fairly difficult to find much information out there on Berlin/San Francisco trio Moholy-Nagy, due mostly to the fact that the band named themselves after a famous person (Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy) who has plenty about him on the internet already. Perhaps, however, this was done purposely, to de-emphasize the band itself (which happens to be made up of former members of Tarentel, The Alps, The Drift and Lazarus) and focus on their work. So while it’s tempting to pontificate on the band and their name’s esoteric meaning, for the time being it seems wisest to start with the music.
Moholy-Nagy’s debut record is called Like Mirage. It’s a collection of ten instrumental tracks that each takes a uniquely eclectic approach to experimental music. The sound ranges from the drowsy Atmospheres and Soundtracks vibe of “Seagulls” to the warped synth and electric guitar buzz of kraut jam “Brute Neighbor.” In between you can find sojourns into repetitive psychedelic guitar picking (“Sunday Brunch”) droning white noise and field recordings (“Homeless Comet,”) as well as a wealth of other sonic abstractions. The thread that weaves all the strands together is a mindset that starts with repetitive rhythms and (much like Krautrock legends Can) blends them into complex arrangements of patterns within patterns.
Much like their namesake (whose art often focused on the movement of light) Moholy-Nagy create kinetic music that always appears to be moving. Rather than employing traditional song structures the music of Like Mirage is constantly moving forward, much like it was created in an atmosphere of free-flow, improvisational sessions. And if that is indeed the case then the solid, minimalistic clarity of the record is evidence that the three members of the band are musically talented enough to craft songs such as these without making a mess. Like Mirage is a highly pleasurable listen, and contains several layers that seem to peel different ways with each repeat listen. The band may be a mystery, but for now at least, the music is eminently accessible.
It has been quite the while since we heard from M.anifest, hasn’t it? Shortly after his debut album, M.anifestations dropped, he then quickly got to work on a new record with Krukid and along with Budo formed the group A.R.M. and proceeded to put out the EP Two Africans and a Jew, and while it was a welcome change, it wasn’t still another full length. We also had The Bird & The Beats mixtape he put out which was enough to whet our appetites for his newest project, Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America.
Those who were pleased with the production that was on M.anifestations and the Two Africans & A Jew EP will be pleased to know that all the usual players are here. Katrah-Quey, G Mo and Budo contribute to the bulk of the albums 16 cuts, each producer crafting out a different element for M.anifest’s tales and tribulations to reverberate through the ears of the masses. Check Katrah-Ques fly horn riff on “Motherland”, and the bluesy rhodes provided by G Mo on “Blue.” Elsewhere on this disc, check the wake-up flutes and groovy guitars of “Ghana Must Go,” and the Swizz Beatz-esque snare rolls provided on “Motion Picture” definitely give M.anifest’s past experiences between projects more depth. The highlight on this album though is provided by Kweku Ananse on the track “Sunsum Praye” which carries with it the spirit of Ghana that only Fela Kuti could deliver in such a lifetime, the syncopated rhythms are hypnotic, and M.anifest stands front and center rapping in his native tongue, which definitely is the best musical moment captured on the album, and definitely one that is beautiful and treasured about the origins of music and how far it has come.
Speaking of M-Dot, he provides lyrics that are very much in the same vein as his previous projects, but regardless of that, they still have yet to sound redundant or repeated to the listener, hearing the slight accent in his verses and the occasional speaking of his mother tongue helps give the disc a good grounding in traditions and provides respect and homage to is motherland of Ghana, while also providing the daily insights of a man living in America. It’s a refreshing perspective to hear about, one that is rarely heard on record. Overall, this is the chronicle of a man who came to America and doesn’t seek to conquer, but seeks to provide those with a fresh perspective.
You may recognize Ryan Beattie (aka Himalayan Bear) from the somewhat more popular band he plays guitar for, Frog Eyes. However, Himalayan Bear doesn’t quite cover the same ground as Frog Eyes does and some might prefer Beattie’s croon over the vocals of Carey Mercer. The recording take things into a more Neil Young direction or something that could sound pretty close to more recent bands like 16 Horsepower or Sparklehorse. Hard Times is the 3rd Himalayan Bear record but will be the first released in the U.S.
Beattie isn’t one to keep things short (the shortest song here is slightly over 4 minutes) but it helps establish the dark mood of the record. The opening title track is a beautiful opener, a tremoloed waltz which showcases Beattie’s 50s crooner style vocals. The songs all are well fleshed out by the players, throwing a few different things into the mix like the saxophone in “How Could Death Contend?”. “Half Wit Son” begins as a slow Neil Young type number that builds itself into a slow furious pound before closing out with one of Beattie’s best guitar solos leading itself into a closing wash of synth. The synth closing leads into one of the the more calm tracks “Peace River” and the slow waltz and croon of “Only Dreams Let Me Hold You”. “Man Of Fire” closes out the album with a dark drone.
Shortly before the release of this record it was announced that Hard Times would be the final record released on Absolutely Kosher after 13 years of putting out records. While it is sad that the label that has also put out records by bands like Pinback and The Mountain Goats is closing up show, Hard Times is a fantastic way to go out. Beattie crafts some great sounding songs and atmosphere throughout the record and keeps things interesting from start to finish. Keep an eye out for this one.
I grew up in the suburbs, and I suppose I liked it alright. It is, as most readily say, a really nice place to grow up. I liked my schools and I love the friends I made. But I guess I don’t necessarily hold a romantic attachment to the ‘idea’ of the suburbs. If I did, though, I think it would sound a lot like the sophomore album from Real Estate, Days. Their music drips with lazy summer suburban nostalgia. But this was always evident with the New Jersey band. On their debut they had songs titled, literally, “Suburban Dogs” and”Suburban Beverage.” They’ve always, you could say, had their ears to the sidewalk. Unlike others who have dealt with the nostalgia of the suburbs by either running from it or dashing the memories completely, Real Estate seems to instead hold a warm eye to their adolescent existence in the constructed sprawl, and even embrace it. And here we are again: Days, another collection of dreamy, affectionate, glossy-eyed surf rock gems from one of the best bands existing in said genre. It was worth the wait.
The album is set off by three of the strongest tracks the band has ever delivered in “Easy,” and the two advance release tracks “Green Aisles” and “It’s Real.” Everything is still here, upfront and familiar: the same jangly, tangled guitar licks from Martin Courtney and Mathew Mondanile (a.k.a. cassette shredder Ducktails), the soft slacker vocals from Courtney and the continual wash of reverb and delay that make every track feel like a lazy, kaleidoscopic dream. “It’s Real” serves as one of the band’s more poppier moments. It’s a uncharacteristically sped up song that follows a more verse-chorus-verse structure and also has one of the catchiest hooks in their entire catalog. And although it is a bit out of the realm of their more lethargic pace, it’s one of the better songs they’ve recorded.
And that’s one of the noticeable differences between Days and their debut self-titled release: the band is playing tighter than ever. That’s not to say the jams are gone – there’s still one strong instrumental tune in “Kinder Bluemen” and a longer, jammy track with the close “All the Same” – but the band seems to have honed in on their tighter, solid melodies and opted for a more direct sound as opposed to the free-form feel of the debut. But sonically and lyrically, Real Estate have remained pretty stagnate – and that’s a great thing.
The everyday slacker lyrics are still a strong point in the RE camp as anything Courtney sings remains wholly universal in the minds of post-grad populace on the verge of the next big decision. On the moody “Three Blocks” Courtney croons, “Monday morning/ Dirty sidewalks/ Waiting for me outside the door/ Walking slowly/ Up those three blocks/ Things won’t be like they were before… All those people all around me/ Were they strangers or was it me?” It’s the kind of realization that comes with age and growing up and coming back home as a post-grad. It’s the feeling of being confused and maybe afraid of where to turn next. And it’s a feeling that’s shared by twenty-somethings in the midst of the mid-recession reality we are are living in right now.
The album, like its predecessor, really does capture the dog days of summer. But this isn’t an album to be pigeonholed in the ‘chillwave’ category or the beach bum aesthetics coursing through the current scene. Real Estate really exists in a league of their own. Their approach has always been pop oriented in the music and melodies they make, but it’s got both the brains and thoughtfulness behind it to create something more intimate and relatable. And that’s exactly what they deliver with their sophomore album Days. So sit back and take it easy.
It’s kind of appropriate that UK dream-popper’s Still Corners are releasing their debut record, Creatures of an Hour, just in time for Halloween. The band’s sound is very much in keeping with the witching season. It’s moody, dark, and atmospheric: the perfect soundtrack to a walk through eerie Autumnal woods at dusk – perhaps accompanied by your undead zombie bride whom you tragically cannot let go despite her untimely demise.
The zombie story might be taking some license with the band’s sound; however the tragedy at the heart of it seems very much in keeping with Still Corners’ aesthetic. With heavy reverb, mood-drenched synths, and most of all Tessa Murray’s dolefully beautiful vocals, the band evokes the epically gorgeous melancholy that we have come to associate with the dreampop genre. You could call them a goth Beach House, if Murray’s singing didn’t share a much closer affiliation to Broadcast vocalist Trish Keenan’s. The similarity is to the extent that “The White Season” could almost be passed off as a Haha Sound lost cut.
Despite the Keenan/Murray similarity (she also occasionally resembles Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier) as well as a resemblance in overall mood and tone, Still Corners is much more of a pop band than Broadcast ever was. The ten tracks on Creatures of an Hour share a pop sensibility that make them far more immediately accessible (though perhaps less filling) than their experimental influences. Lead single “Endless Summer” is the perfect example – it’s an immediately endearing melody that pairs Murray’s sweet breathy woe with organ drone and reverb-laden drum beats. And the rest of Creatures is no less lovely. “Circulars” utilizes eerie haunted house organs but somehow makes them sound less scary than woozy, though the occasional synthesizer squall is a welcome piece of discord in otherwise conventionally pretty music. “I Wrote in Blood” mixes things up with a bit of haunting guitar that’s just a shade shy of (muted) rockabilly while also employing urgently pounding synth tones.
Creatures is full of enough catchy melodies and irresistibly sweet melancholy that there is no doubt it will be an instant success come the record’s Oct. 11th release stateside. And despite the fact that most of that praise will be deserved (Creatures really is quite lovely through and through) in the long run Still Corners would be advised that catchy pop can only take them so far. They have made an excellent start for themselves, but hopefully in the long run the band will take a note from their avant garde influences and experiment experiment experiment. Though their sound may be lovely to behold now, it will be far more interesting to see what avenues they take it down in the future.
— Jon Behm
Still Corners will perform at the 7th St. Entry on October 28th
It’s been a while (5 years to be exact) since Total Fucking Blood’s debut “Blaze The Lord” on Freedom From. Since then the original duo of Pete Biasi (Signal To Trust, Falcon Crest, etc.) and Ben Ivascu (STNNNG, Signal To Trust, Marijuana Death Squads and every other band in town you like) have played countless shows and have added on members Adam Burt (STNNNG, The Vets) on guitar and Freddy Votel (Cows, Skoal Kodiak) as a second drummer. “Real Demons” picks up where “Blaze The Lord” left off and somehow turns things up more. From the 51 second grindcore thrash of “Choke Choke Choke Choke” to the 13 minute epic “Real Demons” (with tape manipulations from Neil Weir), the album is 27 minutes of apocalyptic thrash. Don’t lie to yourself, you need this in your life.