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While Lost At Sea endeavors to write about a great deal of the music it receives, there are hundreds of releases that slip through the cracks - things too strange, too transient or (yes) too bad to earn a full review. EPs, compilations, samplers, and singles are particularly hard to deal with because there are so many of them that they often get lost in the shuffle. This sometimes means that deserving music released in non-album form goes unnoticed and does not reach the people who might enjoy it most.
In an attempt to rectify this situation and to give some of this music its due - or at least its moment in the sun, Lost At Sea occasionally dredges through the muck to weed out a select few of these releases for comment.
Raincloud Vs. Sunshine
Lion O'Brien's delightfully cheery music is a perfect accompaniment to these dog days of summer. After just one listen, this auditory dose of good vibes makes me want to grab a beautiful girl in a sundress and twirl around in a field of sunflowers. Or go on an afternoon bike ride with some friends while kids play in the torrent of a broken fire hydrant and the smoky smell of a backyard barbecue fills the air. Or spend a cloud-less, blue-skied day on the roof, getting shit faced on margaritas, and coming dangerously close to drunkenly falling over the side. Anything other than the sad reality of me being inside my windowless apartment, walking around in a NyQuil stupor, trying to remember where I left my only pair of pants. Apparently BBC6 and BB2 are big fans of Lion O'Brien. You can add ALF420 to that list as well.
I Am A Shootist
I used to get into arguments with my friend over which dream beast would win in a fight, a shark bear or an electrified gorilla. Sure, the outcome kind of depended on whether the shark bear was more of a shark with some bear attributes or a bear-like thing that came crashing through the forest, ravenous for blood, but unless the fight takes place completely underwater, I still say that a gorilla with ten thousand volts of electricity pulsing through its body is a no-brainer. I do know what wouldn't win in a fight, though: a Grizzly Owl. Who cares about a wise old bird? This band does seem to sing an awful lot about guns and gun-related mishaps, which is kind of scary to the Democrat in me, but overall, I'm still putting my money on that juiced up, Dian Fossey-loving motherfucker.
If only the name was literal and Young Lasses were a trio of girls from Glasgow singing upbeat pop songs in a lovely Scottish lilt. Truth be told, I can't get enough of that. But if nothing else, I'm a pragmatist (and one handsome devil), so I figured this would be middling indie rock from a few ironic mustachios who are too smart for their own good. Wrong on both counts- it's out there hip-hop in the vein of Def Jux's post-apocalyptic aesthetic crossed with Kool Keith's warped robotic delivery. If more rap music sounded this good I might actually pay attention to the genre again instead of throwing up my hands in disbelief whenever someone uses the word "genius" instead of "clown" to describe Lil Wayne.
I used to work with a girl whose favorite music was something she called, "chilled out lounge beats." Physically recoiling after hearing that horrendous term, my mind unfortunately wandered and I imagined something that fit right in at a place with Eames chairs, Appletinis, and Ed Hardy shirts. Congrats, Hot Natured, you are now the official soundtrack to that shitty scenario. I never understood why people make music like this, and I still don't. It's almost as if Hot Natured is actively courting the douchebag market. I can almost feel my collar popping while listening to it.
Ohvaur were on their way to producing a pretty decent little EP until they ripped off Radiohead on the last song. Like, really ripped them off bad. But then I got to thinking, who doesn't rip off Radiohead? Coldplay shot to superstardom by finding the 'less-artsy, less-challenging, Radiohead-lite' niche, and in the PR world unless the band in question is a rap group or a banjo-playing country yokel, there are claims of Radiohead influences in most one-sheets. Heck, even that animatronic child-like humanoid Miley Cyrus got all bent out of shape because she actually thought Radiohead would negate an entire career's worth of artistic integrity by associating with her. Umm, where was I going with this rant? Oh yeah, instead of citing an influence and then unabashedly aping them, why not throw a curve ball and list some crap like Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, or the Fat Boys so that no one is automatically connecting the infringement dots and instead are saying stuff like, "Wow, I thought this was going to suck, but instead it's pretty cool."?
The Cranes Are Flying
Banging My Head
The Cranes Are Flying named themselves after "the first indisputable masterpiece of post-Stalin cinema" and released an EP, but it's only been three weeks since Michael Jackson died so I'm not quite ready to take off my black cloak and return to a life permanently devoid of the King of Pop. I just don't see how the mourning period can be over when t-shirt and album sales are still going through the roof. He meant so much to me: second hand memories from my mom about how much I liked Thriller when I was little; a pretty solid punchline when I was developing my adolescent sense of humor; and a certifiable freakshow who seemed to shun all of the negative publicity and yet could never quite pull himself away from the harsh celebrity spotlight. Truly, my life will be completely different without the prospect of yet another Michael Jackson comeback attempt. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go throw open my window so I can hear every passing car that drives by blast "Billy Jean."
Belie My Burial
Belie My Burial
While poking around on the world wide web for info on this band, I stumbled across a few pictures of the dudes and was kind of shocked at how young they looked. Obviously my frame of reference is a little skewed, as I spent my childhood chasing foxes through wooded glen before racing back to Poppincock Manor to have high tea with my benefactor, Dr. Cornelius Pennywhistle, but it is hard for me to fathom what tick in the psyche would lead an adolescent to make music like this. They should be awkwardly courting the girl two lockers down with a mixtape chock full of The Shins, not sounding as if they are calling upon the minions of Satan to reign a fiery wrath upon all nonbelievers. This is music for the disaffected malcontent, not a sixteen-year-old kid who changes his Facebook status via his iPhone. Ah, what the hell do I know anymore? Maybe this stuff is status quo for your everyday high-schooler circa 2009. Don't mind me, I'll just be sitting here in my rocking chair, reminiscing about a simpler era when I would titter to myself every time Snoop Doggy Dogg said the F word.
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.
See other articles by Kevin Alfoldy.
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