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Live Review / Photos: Islands, Jemina Pearl, Toro Y Moi @ the G-Spot (2009.11.02)


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01. MP3: Toro Y Moi – Talamak from Well Tusked (2009)

02. MP3: Toro Y Moi – Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover) from CHUM ONAH: BxF celebrates the music of M. Jackson

03. MP3: Jemina Pearl – I Hate People featuring Iggy Pop from Break It Up (2009)

All photos: Greg Szeto | Full set

Toro Y Moi comes off initially like a variant of the whole indie dance shtick: solo artist pumping out insistent beats, synths and laptop samples while dancing around stage, the music is as fierce as any of his peers and leaves no 4/4 stone unturned. But there’s a twist.  What elevates him above the chaff and detritus is both the subtlety and execution; the fact that he actually sings the featherweight and often soulful vocals and plays the synth lines to his own music makes all the difference.  As a result, Chaz Bundick is downright intimate with his music: the payoff is much bigger, the riffs more electric, and everything overflows with funky heart and dance-worthy soul.  Foot-tapping pop couched in lo-fi swirls often sampled on the fly, his set was a good benchmark for meaningful indie pop. Read the rest…

2008 Wrap-Up (Alex) – Live Performances

Luckily, my editor is on in-between semester break. Otherwise, I’m sure he would be in T.A. mode and grade my late post accordingly…

However, I dragged my feet somewhat deliberately. What’s the point of a 2008 summation if you don’t have at least a little critical distance between current time, and the past year? One doesn’t write a book report until the book is actually finished. A conclusion about a hypothesis can’t be reached until the experiment is actually completed. You don’t say, “Wow, baby…that was some good sex,” until the deal is sealed–unless you’re an ego-tripping moron with a teenager’s maturity level.

January 29, 2008 was my emergence from the world of sub-par print music journalism into the realm of much more serious online music writing. I don’t take credit for the upgrade; that goes solely to Greg Szeto, the music editor at my former publication, and the founder and managing editor of Aural States. I know good coat tails when I seem them, and I was really excited to jump into this venture with Greg. 

The results have been unthinkable, really. Much of the work I’ve felt the best about, and been the most proud of in the past several years has been for Aural States.
For me, 2008 has been a year of amazing music–recorded, live, and starting recently, making it again. To be accurate this journey’s proper beginnings are in the fall of 2007, but isn’t it weird how events usually arise from prior events in sequential order? Event chains, I think they are called.  I have been into music all my life, but 2008 is unique in the fact that I actually, in some small way, took a spot in a broader network of music, and culture-of-music people. I began blogging, and people were actually reading what I wrote.

This status of blogger doesn’t feel quite like it fits yet. Around Baltimore, indie/hipsters types (definitely loaded words, which are commonly mistaken for being synonymous with “music types”) don such close-fitting clothes. Perhaps, feeling as though this is a role I need to grow into is a healthier stance, than having skin-tight clothing restricting, and inhibiting movement (read: critical movement, and development).

Also, clothes being the signifiers that they are designate people into one group. I personally don’t fit into one single group musically, and probably not socially, either. From my understanding (and I think it’s an accurate understanding) the same goes for Aural States. To be clear, this does not mean AS has to be everything musically to fulfill our eclectic mission statement, but we simply need to be who we are, and only who we are.

And who are we? Music geeks: pure, unabashed, genuine music geeks.

My (Highly Subjective) Most Memorable Live Performances of 2008 (in no order, and it’s more than 10)
Read the rest…

Show Review: Beach House at the G-Spot

Maybe I’m somewhat old-fashioned in my approach to the internet, or that I really like the payoff of delayed satisfaction, but this is true: I don’t listen to music before it is released on a record. I am perpetually behind-the-times. Maybe, I am not someone who should be writing for a music blog because I really like the thrill of going to the CD store and picking up new releases on a Tuesday. I like evaluating an album as a whole, and my somewhat neurotic personality prevents me from doing that if I imprint a couple songs on my memory before listening to all of them, in the sequence that the artist intended.
Read the rest…

Beach House record release show

Dream-pop band Beach House, the child of Baltimore’s own Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, will be preforming at the G-Spot on the 28th in support of their second album, Devotion (due out the 26th on Carpark Records).

A a quite pretty video for “Master of None” follows.

Read the rest…