Cincinnati, OH has been my home for a little under a year at this point. While there have been a smattering of bands that have really captured my heart (here's looking at Gazer, Mardou, Zijnzijn Zijnziijn, Mephetic Husk and the indomitable Pete Fosco) nothing quite captures the burnt-over core of the Queen City (who has recently been wearing lipstick again with some large scale gentrification projects) as the latest local-band-makes-good trio Tweens. Following a tour with the Breeders fueled by a word of mouth recommendation to Kim Deal, Tweens have released their proper debut on Frenchkiss. The record is full of these unabashed brawny, saccharine power-pop tunes that create new neural pathways for command hallucinations. Triggers include: Tweens. Symptoms include: involuntary fist-pumping, recreating adolescent deviant behaviors while over 30. 

Bridget Battle sells me records at Black Plastic.

How could you listen to this song and NOT imagine a prom-like setting?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

Clipd Beaks have the tendency to create some pretty striking visuals to their music. I remember the first introduction to my favorite album of 2010 was the video for "Visions". That video may be one of my favorite pieces of lyrical storytelling of all time and it was one of the first videos to really kick off the Videodrones section of the Tome. Fast forward three years, and "Tied Sky" ends up being my favorite song of 2013. I love the way it filters remembrances of early Appleseed Cast through a deep bong-hit of southern California psychedlia. The visual companion to this song is something that Clipd Beaks do best, making the profane a little bit more sacred. This video makes moments from a schloky, late-60's sci-fi flick (directed by Peter Bogdanovich!!?) into a fever dream of ritualized fire worship and creation-myth archetypes. And mermaids. 

Clipd Beaks - "Tied Sky" from Moon Glyph on Vimeo.

This Videodrone brought to you by Ryan H. 

Friday, April 11th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

Former U.S Maple guitar noisenic Todd Rittman's post-one-of-noise-rock's-most uncomfortable-bands project is back with a pretty strong opening volley from their new album Chills on Glass. Keeping with the uncomfortable vibe, the panel-puzzle rearranging of the band members face is as close and as distancing as any U.S Maple guitar-screed/super-confessional-lyrics song. So much skin. It is nice for once to feature a video with something called a recording budget every once and awhile. "Blank Screen" is an excellent exercise is controlled bursts of shizo-typal noise while keeping everything corralled in a danceable, rhythmic rockist track that rubs shoulders with TV on the Radio, Liars and even The Faint, all bands (with the possible exception of the Faint) who would be beneficiaries of U.S. Maple's fearless deconstruction of rock n' roll rather than contemporaries. With the strength of this single I am incredibly excited to dig into the record.

Dead Rider Drag City page

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

This video makes me feel uneasy. And not exactly in the good way. The mix of the jarringly abstract and glimpses of the real-world source material that intrude into this nightmarescape give me the queasy feeling that something dreadful could happen any moment. By dreadful I mean a flashing image that will never leave my psyche. Like Captain Howdy in The Exorcist. I really do enjoy how the degraded film gives pedestrian objects a sinister, abstracted sheen. Organs become serrated teeth, ripples become sine waves and arches become claustrophobic tunnels. All this over Naucke's persistent footrace through hollow-bodied (literally sounds like a digeridoo and a jaw harp had a love-child) beats and swirling, disembodied vocals. Very strange, wonderful Videodrone find.

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

This is some serious slow-burn, green wood approach to making music. So much smoke, so much hazy, otherworldly, aromatic, attempts to build something that would burn up everything. But what we get is a smoldering center, a faint orange glow that refuses to give up long after we did. That's what holds this shimmering, melancholy track by UK shoegaze/drone artist Invisible Elephant together. "From the Bottom of the Well" contains enough emotional heft to knock a house off its foundations, but instead blows in like a feather, and with our wood green and unmet gives it just enough to survive. We are really, really pleased to be able to debut this video from Invisible Elephant's newest LP Sleepwalking out on Two Hands Records. Pre-Orders are available. Serious trance-inducing, 4AD/Eluvium inspired shoegaze bliss. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

I don't have very many favorite EP's. But I'll be damned if Vehicle Blues doesn't have two of them under his belt. The first is 2010's Changer, where pained, aching melodies seeped their way through a blown out car speaker of reverb-drenched, lo-fi prettiness. The second one is this little gem, from the eponymous titled track from the Letter Writer EP displayed on this here Videodrone. The good news is that Gabe Holcombe's songs have gotten a lot prettier. There is a lot of breathing room in these chugging power chords played with a high enough noise floor to keep them gritty and adjacent, but with enough clarity to craftily draw even the most noise-averse novitiate closer in. The good news is that Holcombe's songs have gotten even sadder. A beautiful, complex type of ennui caused by the inevitable disbelief at how utterly beautiful and pointless life is. These are four songs to live by. Enjoy the epitaph to a Super 8, stop-motion, lovely fall/indoor grow-op that probably happened (or are happening now) in your twenties. 

Videodrone brought to you by Ryan H.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)

What starts  as an homage (or perhaps it is lifted directly from the film...I haven't seen it in a while) to Bela Tar's brilliant film Damnation, unfolds and then dissolves into a nostalgic trip back through the American West before chemical treatments on the film stock start wearing it down into a flickering pastiche of monochrome grays and whites. The last minute or so where the opening tracking shot is reversed and ghosts of some nameless, placeless Anglo family fades into the ether where their souls now reside absolutely. kills. me. I guess we go the same way as archived film. We were never really here unless someone remembers us. Dusts off our memory and plays it back reel to reel. The emotional weight of this piece is even more poignant with Phil Diamond's earnest croon and light-touch synthesizer composition. Not too often do we get a Videodrone as pitch-perfect as this one. 

This Videodrone brought to you by Ryan H. 

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 | Add New Comment (0)