Com Truise will grace Tampa with his presence soon, bringing with him a distinctive sound of familiar fused with futuristic. While he often (and somewhat mistakenly) gets shoved into a category of 80s nostalgia, there’s much more to his all-synthetic sound.
His first release on Ghostly International, Galactic Melt, cemented Com Truise among the ranks of throwback producers, but the songs offered little pretense about what they were. Yes, he gives the songs acutely retro titles like “84 Dreamin’.” Yes, Truise crafts an unmistakable sound of the decade past, but he blends it in such a way that it becomes juicy and fresh instead of stale or corny.
In Decay, the latest release from Haley under the name Com Truise (he produces under three different pseudonyms) isn’t at all a follow up of Galactic Melt. If anything, it’s a prequel, as most of the songs were written and unofficially released on either SoundCloud or as part of Komputer Kasts, a collection of mixtapes featured on his website, before he began work on Galactic Melt.
True to the often subdivided nature of music critics, some are touting In Decay as an anthology as opposed to a cohesive full-length release, which strikes some as a too-bold move from someone so early in his career. In fact, there’s a lot of confusion over Com Truise these days – what moniker he’s operating under, whether he’s synthpop or chillwave (Haley describes his music as “mid-fi synth-wave, slow-motion funk” if that helps), why he’s releasing material in a non-linear fashion – but I urge you to check him out on 10/26 at The Orpheum; Brasky will be there.
Listening to Gossamer, Passion Pit’s latest album, makes me dizzy. It’s a good kind of dizzy. It makes my head spin to go from peppy synth and sci-fi-esque bells and whistles to an unflinchingly earnest kind of despair. The whole experience is overwhelming, and I have the feeling that’s exactly what frontman Michael Angelakos was going for.
Fans of 2009′s Manners will be pleased to hear the familiar pop+synth+pep sounds in Gossamer. Those same *sounds* have made Passion Pit an attractive option as the backing music in commercials selling everything from tacos to laptops – interesting to consider for those of us who have noticed that Gossamer, at its core, is a bleak exploration of dealing with his bipolar disorder, alcoholism, hurting loved ones and reeling from unfulfilled expectations. The album is completely manic, but in a very comforting way. There’s something magical about soaring on a synthetic upbeat while falling into an anxious spiral. However, despite an undercurrent of heavy lyrics, the overall sound is a bright splash of punchy pop. It’s this juxtaposition, this magic, that Passion Pit has captured on Gossamer. Angelakos takes the most broken, ugly parts of himself and somehow makes them pretty without just shoving them under a rug woven of glossy shoegaze.
For any ambiguity left in the lyrics, Angelakos has been publicly honest about his battle with mental illness. As someone who treats an anxiety disorder with cheap whiskey, I’m eager to experience the album live. Passion Pit will perform at the House of Blues next month – 10/22. Tickets start at $25.
Whether you’re going for the intimate lyrical storytelling that makes you squirm or the beats that make you dance, don’t miss this show. Angelakos has already said that touring is not conducive to managing his illness, so who knows when we’ll have another chance to see lightning in a bottle.
Once upon a time I was drunk at a Yogurtology. I must have added nearly every topping to my bowl of froyo and ended up with a sticky mess of all of the things. It was disgusting. While I like them individually (marshmallows, pecans, berries, pretzel bits, etc,) mixing them all together was a gross misappropriation.
Man Man is the opposite of that. Take solid instrumentation. Add more instruments. Make the vocals strong. Interject deep and sometimes morbid lyrics that really tell a story. More instruments. Pull from different genres like doo-wop and acid rock. Add bold and brazen experimental pop. Pour in moments of Samuel Beckett style absurdity. More instruments. And then a sousaphone. Make percussion instruments out of anything laying around. Layer it together. Top with mustaches, cut-off shorts and war paint.
It’s delicious. Man Man puts on a killer show that bursts with texture. Sometimes it sounds like sandpaper and sometimes it feels like velvet, but it always hits the spot. And luckily for you, you can experience it Tuesday at the Crowbar. You will most likely need to floss afterward.
I’ll admit it – the first time I heard Two Door Cinema Club, I instantly forgot about it after the barely three minutes of indie pop fun were over. The next time I heard them was thirty minutes later. Then again thirty minutes after that. This was in 2009 and I (embarrassingly) worked under the Gap Umbrella at a clothing store whose particular brand of sunny attire called for upbeat music videos on loop all day. Two Door Cinema Club’s casually catchy tune “Something Good Can Work” did blend in with the rest of the obscure indie pop/ electrojazz/ whatever, but not for long. Inevitably, as with most of the songs off Tourist History, the infectious melodies and staccato bursts of glossy sunshine had me dancing around clothing racks, twirling the fitting room keys at my side.
They’ve been on my radar ever since, an empowering go-to for encouraging anthems and hopeful yet slightly awkward dance jams. The bright choruses and punchy guitars sound like blissful summer nights with tinges of nervous excitement about the upcoming fall. The formula is simple: start strong, wander toward frantic, bounce back to harmonic safety, crescendo into a crash of release and wrap up on the upbeat.
And it is exactly this that makes Two Door Cinema Club such a great sleeper band; the simplicity is so intelligently crafted that even though the songs might seem mindless at first, they aren’t vapid or empty at all. The sound might not be anything new, but the solid construction under the shy but clean vocals is presented with such honesty that it becomes instantly accessible and familiar without being stale.
And if you have a pulse, Two Door Cinema Club will make you dance. That’s why I’m so stoked to see them at the Ritz on June 6th – I’ve recently graduated from “fitting room bopper” while mastering “the dog walker,” the “filing cabinet” and the elusive “telephone operator” so I’m eager to try out my new moves. I expect “Undercover Martyn” and “What You Know” to get the crowd jumping and jiving (or whatever the kids are doing these days, I don’t know, I’m not very hip). Two Door Cinema Club recently announced on Twitter that they are close to to wrapping up their second studio album, so I am drooling over the chance to hear new material.
Beyond that, the lyrics are pretty killer, which comes as a relief to me amid a sea of “purposely vague to be misunderstood” bands out there. That’s precisely what cemented Two Door Cinema Club in my heart and iPod back in 2009. When I heard Alex Trimble sing “Let’s get this started girl/We’re moving up, we’re moving up/It’s been a lot to change/But you will always get what you want…” for the 37,493rd time, something clicked and I just got it. So I quit my Gap Umbrella job working for the patriotic bird because it was my birthday and I had better things to do. And I despise “destroyed” denim anyway.
I want to tell you how exhilarating it is to proudly tote your newest vinyl find home and spend the better part of two hours pouring over the liner notes. I want to tell you with certainty that your favorite band will sound better on vinyl.
But, this could be a lie. I sacrificed my record player and modest record collection back in “The Great Break Up of 2009″ to an ex-boyfriend who supposedly enjoyed all of those things much more than I did. And I must (somewhat bitterly) admit that most of my music(ing) takes place in a vehicle or at the gym, so vinyl doesn’t really fit into my life. But none of this makes me any less excited about Record Store Day.
While I won’t be first in line for the Wilco box set, you’ll find me in St. Pete this Saturday soaking up sun, songs, and copious amounts of beer. The 600 Block does it so beautifully right for Record Store Day. Doors to Daddy Kool open at 8 AM (line starts at 6ish, so beware) with a DJ set to get things going. Live music starts at the Local 662 at noon, and I sincerely hope you stick around until later that night to see Meteoreyes at 10:45. Live music starts at Fubar at 1:00 PM. There will be fun, food, a chance to fight a kid for that Ugly Custard LP you wanted, and in case I haven’t mentioned it, beer.
If you’re on the other side of the bridge, I will try not to judge you too harshly and also point you in the direction of Mojo Books and Music by the USF Tampa campus. They open at 9 AM and DJ Sam Esser will play your RSD purchase on the spot, should you let him hold your precious Kimbra EP. Even if you don’t want to share, we’ll understand. Over in the Seminole Heights area, Microgroove will open at 7 AM and have live music from 1 PM – 4 PM. They will also have complimentary PBR throughout the day, which may be enough to make them my pregame spot. (So I pregame RSD, don’t judge me. I’m not the one waiting for the Switchfoot CD.)
Daddy Kool, the Local 662 and Fubar will have the best block party, hands down. At about 11:30 PM I will be drunk and teary and mumbling how beautiful the day was. Yes, I will make myself available for sloppy photo-ops. The 600 block will also have the biggest selection of live shows. Daddy Kool will be have storewide discounts throughout the day.
Mojo Books and Music also boasts an array of sales and free goodies (and beer!) along with a decent line up of shows. I’m not sure what to expect from Microgroove since this is their first RSD, but they offer free beer and a few shows along with storewide sales. However, Microgroove has an ace up their sleeve; if you spend $40, you get into the Blackbird Blackbird show at New World Brewery that night for $5. If you spend $80, you get in free. I can’t stress enough how much you should go see Blackbird Blackbird, I wouldn’t lie to you about this. I know I kind of lied to your earlier, but we have to get past these trust issues.
And last but certainly not least, if you’re feeling frisky and want a road trip for RSD, you absolutely must go to Sweat Records in Miami. RSD ambassador and badass himself Iggy Pop will be there.
You don’t have to be a vinyl elitist to have a blast on RSD. You can meet cool people and set up carpools to future shows, gorge yourself on vegan baked goods, enjoy hours of free live music, score that CSC Funk Band 7″, drink yourself silly and best of all, support your community and the local record stores we hope never ever disappear. And for those of you wetting yourself over The Pharcyde Singles Collection, well, you already know what’s up.