rock and roll, i miss you-

New music has been dissatisfying. The majority of new acts have become one man synth bands. We either get that or A$AP Rocky– which seems to fulfill people’s hip hop needs with drum machines and lyrics full of hype and swag. Nothing profound [also see Watch The Throne. Note: this is in no way shape or form hatred towards hip hop. I love hip hop. Thank you, Das Racist. It’s just this indie hip hop world  is pop rap. Simply here to entertain white bread and dilute the genre’s necessary racial lines.]

Where have all the rock bands gone?

I have found one recently, barely recent with their record released on September 9th, that I’ve fallen in love with. WATERS, dare I say it, is a one man band. But he isn’t the kind that hides behind his buttons and nobs. Van Pierszalowski, mouthful: yes, plays rock and roll guitars. Imagine that. Out In The Light rocks really hard and is embedded with indie rock charms, full of folk and romance. I love it more each spin.

Another new romantic record happens to be from a returning favorite band, Surfer Blood. Tarot Classics EP is four songs too short, hence the romance. The listening is intimate because after the first time, you replay it out of  bare necessity. It’s great to hear a band take their original sound from a debut, keep it, and manage to make something fresh.


They still remain Surfer Blood – but you aren’t tired of them. Their catchy, wavy songs from Astrocoast are charming and unforgettable. And the new EP is a hopeful look into the future. It’s a new band who used their second release to show us that they wont be swallowed up in the blogosphere. That they wont be a one-record-wonder. That they might really have something to sonically show for themselves. I just hope more bands in this boat can deliver a sophomore record. Debut favorites from Yuck [who are already strangely releasing a remaster] WU LYF (below) and Unknown Mortal Orchestra only get my hopes up further. All of which, by the way, are excellent live shows. WU LYF’s drummer is the best I’ve seen all year.

I dearly hope they don’t get washed out with chillwave acts. In a recent interview, Bradford Cox [of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound] spoke about the chillwave ‘movement’ [his word, not mine]:  “Chillwave came along, and it turned ambient music into this perfume that overwhelmed the room. It used to feel therapeutic, but then it started to feel like people would put anything through three delay pedals.” I’m not sure I could’ve said it better myself. From Toro Y Moi, whose new EP, Freaking Out belongs in 1986 [it took me a few listens, but I really do dig it (listen to a goodie below)], to M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and Panda Bear and Washed Out remixes from Clams Casino and The Weeknd and newly hyped Glass Candy – I am overwhelmed. Thank god we are hearing more from White Denim. And I’ve fallen in love with Patrick Carney all over again as he produces the new album from Tennis [a band I’ve recently realized I love. And I love how little excitement has surrounded them. Maybe I can keep them to myself for a little while longer.]

Consider this a love note to rock and roll. I miss you. Please come back soon. Bring my variety and be more brash. And also, as a post script to chillwave, or whatever it is you call your remixes and mash-ups, revisits and reissues: take a break. I’d love to hear something different. Few of you have surprised me, mostly you all sound alike. As for the rest of you…