Our First Round matchups for Manik Madness have now all come to a close. The results from the First Round in the Beach Boys Region are posted below.
Voting is now open for all Second Round matchups! Make your choices for who will be represented in the Sweet Sixteen!
Here are the official results from Round 1 in the Beach Boys Region:
1. Foo Fighters
16. Das Racist
9. Animal Collective
8. Death Cab for Cutie
11. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
6. The Flaming Lips
3. Mumford and Sons
14. Dr. Dog
10. Of Montreal
2. Bon Iver
Yoe Don’t Know Jack: Once a week Adam Yoe weighs in on the best (or maybe worst), the new and the old from punk and hardcore.
In 2012, it’s hard to imagine Portland, Oregon as anything but the creative hotbed it’s become. But in 1977, it was a veritable ghost town, untouched and vacuous. The Wipers were then, as now, virtual unknowns. Perhaps that was the point.
The mastermind behind the Wipers, Greg Sage, started the group solely as a recording project. No press, no interviews and little to no live shows. Fittingly, the shows they did around the Pacific Northwest are legendary. The punk rock scene had exploded around their formation and essentially imploded by the time their first LP (1980′s Is this Real) was released. In my opinion, their best collection of songs: Tightly wound, 3 and 1/2 minutes or so of controlled fury. The cold, oppressive vibe of living and exisiting as a bad off the map was captured with such focused fury, sadly the deceptively intricate album never caught on. There were, as there always seem to be, critics and “cults” that saw it for what it was…genius.
What makes their debut LP so special to me is the jazz-like tightness, an ability to improvise and incorporate noisy guitar solos, bordering on the atonal. The desire to push beyond the simple verse/chorus/verse of elementary punk rock groups of the time led them to some strange places. 1981′s Over the Edge sent them deeper into unexplored territory with their 10 plus minute title track and nary a fast track to be found. At only six songs, it was in essence a goodbye kiss to the brutish hardcore that had taken over California and our nation’s capital. The album owes more to groups that, like themselves, never had a true home scene: Television, The Fall, Mission of Burma, etc.
True mastery never goes unnoticed. A certain Nirvana frontman often cited the Wipers as heroes and recorded covers of both “Return of the Rat” and “D7″ from the now seminal debut album.
Their legendary show at the Reading Festival features a rather scathing version of the latter. A fitting tribute to a band that remained as buried as Cobain had hoped. There are tracks from Nirvana’s “Bleach” that are dangerously close in both melody and tone to The Wipers. The full scope of The Wipers influence can certainly be heard in the next decade’s grunge fore-bearers’ recklessly tight jams. Sonic Youth, The Melvins, Dinosaur Jr., etc have all cited them as influences. Yet they remain in dusty record bins, cutout from the punk rock history books.
This isn’t recommended for punk fans, it’s mandatory listening.
RIYL: Mission of Burma, early 80′s punk/hardcore, depression and/or ceaseless rain
Currently Spinning: Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds I’d rather die than live forever and LOTS of Death in June
- Adam Yoe
According to a letter from Morning Benders frontman, Chris Chu, on the band’s website, The Morning Benders are hereby to be known as POP ETC.
You can read the statement here, but the name change comes as a result of the quartet learning that in countries overseas, “Bender” is a derogatory term for homosexuals.
Chu outlines the reasons clearly at the letter’s end:
1. We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community. The reason we are making music is to reach and unite as many different kinds of people as possible, and the idea that our name may be hateful towards anyone makes us sick.
2. In the UK and many parts of Europe the name has simply become too distracting. The MUSIC has always been our number one focus, and we want to present that to people in as pure a way as possible
Here’s to POP ETC and their future; we’re sure at ManikMusic that their art will remain exceptional, no matter what their name is (Also: you can download the POP ETC Mixtape here).
Oh Celine. My Canadian Rose. My Quebec Queen. You ditched French for English, and you never looked back. And the world thanks you. Meat Loaf really, really wanted to record this first (and Pandora’s Box actually did), but neither of them could hold a candle to you.
Seriously, though, you know in 30 Rock when Jack Donaghy proclaims he likes Phil Collins because “I’ve got two ears and a heart, don’t I?” That’s how I feel about this song. You show me someone who hates this song, and I’ll show you a liar. This is an absolute anthem, a showstopper, just seven-and-a-half minutes of Celine being Celine. That ominous buildup. That voice. That emotion. That white pantsuit. Is it getting hot in here?
Dead honest, I get so fucking amped when this song comes on. It gives me chills, and I’m not even a scorned woman. Hands down #3 on the ‘All-Time Road Trip Songs’ List. Pop this on, have a good cry (in a group or solo), and by the times it’s over you’re a new person and ten minutes closer to your destination.
It was nearly four years ago I first saw Ben Kweller at a small, very liberal, Christian college in south-central Pennsylvania called Messiah. He was opening for indie-folk darling Conor Oberst and his band of roots-rockers, The Mystic Valley Band. As he sat down at his piano before playing fan favorite “Falling” he said with a boyish grin “It’s an honor to open for Conor Oberst, the best songwriter of our generation. And I’m the second best, obviously.”
Last year’s rumors of Daniel Rossen “giving up” on music turned into rumors of Grizzly Bear recording a new album in 2012. And for this, we are lucky. Furthermore, if rumors of new Grizzly Bear material are true, Rossen has done anything but give up, as he has suddenly reappeared with a solo EP, Silent Hour/Golden Mile. It’s a five song reminder that this guy is a relevant force in modern music. Intricately layered, delicately unraveled, Rossen’s solo EP perfectly represents his (wildly important) portion of the songwriting on a Grizzly Bear record, and lets us know that the outfit may be nothing without him.
Silent Hour/Golden Mile may be looked at as a condensed version of Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House. It has all the same elements: dark atmospheres, dramatic pauses, sudden percussive climaxes, haunting piano, but here, they’re more tightly bound. The pauses are not expansive but subtle, the climaxes slightly less climactic. And this seems quite appropriate, considering the length of this release.
The EP is exactly what you’d expect if you’ve heard any of Rossen’s work with Grizzly Bear. Each song contains the classic Daniel Rossen acoustic guitar tone: deep, warm, and crisp, driving forward, but at the same time, lingering. The opener, “Up On High” makes use of those boomy, low drums heard on Yellow House, and the sustained, splashy cymbals on “Silent Song” will be familiar to Grizzly Bear fans as well. The songs, for the most part, build in the somewhat formulaic, though always enjoyable, Rossen manner, with accents from an electric guitar reaching a climax along with progressively messier drumming. The third song, “Return to Form,” is just that. It’s the best example of a mini Yellow House song, where Rossen continually hints at a climax, only to bring the song back down to a quieter volume. And just when you get used to the trick, he actually gives you the climax, as the song suddenly tightens up with chugging electric guitar and powerful drums.
Fans of Grizzly Bear can’t go wrong with this release, in fact, it wouldn’t be outrageous to accuse Silent Hour/Golden Mile of sounding too much like Grizzly Bear. It would have been nice to see Rossen try something different, but he’s doing what he does best, he’s released a solid recording that won’t dissapoint his fanbase. “Silent Song” sounds like it was recorded in the same sessions as Yellow House, intimate to the point where we can hear Rossen opening his mouth a few measures before the singing begins. The EP closes with the quasi-title track, “Golden Mile,” to which the introduction recalls Yellow House favorite, “Little Brother.” Though Silent Hour/Golden Mile shows Rossen working in familiar territory, it tells us that he isn’t done perfecting his own art. Maybe this release is a preview of Grizzly Bear’s material to come, or maybe it’s Rossen getting this stuff out of his system. Either way, we can come to expect consist, quality music from him.
- Chris Sweeney
Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hit New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton with a one-year suspension for the bounty system his team deployed for the past several years. The decision is unprecedented and particularly earth shattering for the sports world considering the Saints just won the Super Bowl in the 2009-2010 season.
So that led me to think, what if this happened in the music industry? What if music had a commissioner who could suspend, ban, or banish someone for one whole year? Well, let’s explore some of the possibilities…