What I’m Listening To…

Heems-Home ft. Dev Hynes

1/2 of the former rap group Das Rascist, Heems is now releasing some (mostly) solo work. While a lot of their tracks have a humorous quality (like this), this is a rare serious offering from them.  While the song carries a negative vibe, it has a relaxing quality. And there is a still a comedic presence in it by way of an R. Kelly lyric. “Shawty quit your bitchin’, be my remix to ignition”…Marvelous



Health-New Coke

A group that I discovered through hearing their score from a a video game is Health (best song here).  They’re an L.A. based group and what makes them stick out is their heavy use of electronics. They definitely don’t do house or dance music, however. Their aggressive and heavy beats give them more of an industrial sound. This is a classic example of a song of building up to a climax. The video they shot for it matches that perfectly. I posted it but I’ll warn you, it does have some shock value as there’s a rather graphic sequence starting at the 1:30 mark. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s NSFW but it can be unsettling to those with a weak stomach. I prefer this version however as it is condensed and features an outro that serves as an alleviating come down from the climax.



White Reaper-Make Me Wanna Die

A peppy yet dark track is by White Reaper. Think a classic, fast-paced garage rock sound with invigorating vocals and “Make Me Wanna Die” fits the bill perfectly. Overall, it’s a very fun track that makes a statement that punk rock is still alive in this time of mainstream  pop, folk, and electronic music typically topping the charts.




Gigs: Field Division at Vaudeville Mews 6/16



A dynamic local band that is worth seeing live is Field Division. They were on hand at Vaudeville Mews earlier this week as an opening act for Futurebirds. They’re a folkwave group that plays regularly here in the Midwest. Through the efforts of Evelyn Taylor and Nicholas Frampton, you get to hear a sound that is dreamy and surreal out of a mostly acoustic set. Most of their songs are about the world around us and their  lyrics describe places and landscapes and connect with people’s relations to them and as well as their existentialism.

Evelyn’s vocals are marvelous and fit this style of music perfectly. Nick’s backing vocals blend in extremely well and these two have come up with the formula for providing a ambient, earthly live show. They have since added a 2nd guitar player which only makes them better. The song below serves as a prime example



The first act was Conrad Bascom and the Eternal Returners. They provided some vibrancy to the show with a good mix of songs. I enjoyed them the most out of the other acts due to their energy and sound. There was some of the most animated “woo-hooing” I’ve ever seen in a live performance as their closing song had at least 30 seconds worth of it to close out their set. It.Rocked.


Next was Canyons; way too down-tempo and slow for a concert style performance. I think their style would be better suited to playing in low-key bars and restaurants.


The headliner was Futurebirds. A band out of Savannah, GA. Again, a nice assortment of songs and most of them had a southern sounding quality to them. The crowd really seemed to get into this group and it’s probably because of the highly talented musical craftsmanship and their sound that is non-intimidating and the abundance of hooks it provides.



By the time Field Division came on, it was fairly late and the crowd had somewhat dispersed. Those that stayed were definitely rewarded with a superb set that didn’t disappoint. They played a couple of tracks of off their most recent release, Reverie State, which can be listened to hereThey sounded just as good live and what’s most impressive to me is the quality of vocals they have for a live set. There was literally no discernible difference between how they sound live compared to in the studio. Few bands and producers can do that.


Live for the VM

Live from the VM


They also played some of their newer material which I really liked. It fits right in line with what they’ve been doing but also had a more upbeat tone to it. They’re sticking with what makes them unique but also experimenting as well. There’s no shortage of potential with this group and I’m definitely looking forward to their next show. They play at Wooly‘s this Saturday, 6/20 at 9pm. They’ll also be playing at the Des Moines Social Club on July 3rd opening for Windowspeak. I highly recommend saving either of these dates (both Fri/Sat) to check out some great music.


What I’m Listening to:



1. Bully-Sharktooth

Count me in as one of those that has embraced this arrival of this band. Bully is a group of out of Nashville and they have a polished, yet traditional garage rock sound to them. This is my favorite song by them, due to the insightful and meaningful lyrics and Alicia Bognanno’s captivating vocals. Her voice is what gives this group their signature sound. The guitars featured are spectacular as well, especially during the chorus.



2. A$AP w/Clams Casino-Wassup

Clams Casino puts down some classic, ambient beats to the vocals of A$AP. It all makes for a down-tempo loungey sounding track. It sounds like a more bare version of Lil’ Wayne’s Lollipop.



3. Jamie xx-Hold Tight

An exhilarating track by this mutli-talented member of the xx. A song that will largely go unnoticed even by those that are familiar with Jamie xx; this  and fast-paced song gets better and more invigorating as it progresses. It combines elements of aggressive synths,  layered percussion/bass beats, and  well-placed subtle backing lyrics that are spoken and not sung. Strap yourselves in for the 4-minute, fucking great thrillride