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Artist of the Month
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June 2015
Annique Monet
"Phantom Letters
"
mp3

Some records have the ability to plunge the listener into some kind of alternate reality. Annique Monet's uber-psychedelic debut album 'Phantom Letters' will do that to you. It took a few notes for opening track "Salt, Veruca," (streaming) to hypnotize us with its haunting beginning: a simple electric piano part, whistles, a fake horn section and a droney verse slowly led us towards a celestial chorus, which was quickly fogotten - for good - in favor of a baroque, droney outro. The following track 'Voodoo', a grottesque and dissonant waltz, took us to a really weird (and scary) place: we saw the devil looking at us through the speakers, from Vienna. With a beautiful melody, the first few bars of "Nowhere"  brought back some hope for a return to light, but the song didn't go anywhere - we should have expected it, considering the title. 'Relapse' delivered another waltz - a more subtle one - but filled to the brim with eerie and decadent melancholy. From its plodding intro, Turtlenecks in July resurrected the ghost of The Beatles' psychedelic pop, although sounding nothing like it, while in '52,' Greek mermeids lured us with the most ghostly of lithanies, asking us to join them - and drown. The following two songs on the record kept this beautifully absurd, elusive dream going, with noteworthy track "Unchange" closing the collection.

Although we often praise structure in songwriting (many songs here would benefit from more of it), there's very little structure in a dream - which is what this album is. In a scene that seems to have lost the imagination of its peak years, this is a record that will hopefully inspire other NYC artists to be more daring.

 
The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Afrika Bambaataa
Arto Lindsay
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
The Feelies
The Fleshtones
Grandmaster Melle Mel
John Zorn
Laurie Anderson
Public Enemy
Run D.M.C.
Sonic Youth
Swans
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Nas
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soul Coughing
Yo La Tengo
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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SXSW Day 0-1: The Lemurs, Black Books, Sahara Smith...

SXSW Day 0-1: The Lemurs, Black Books, Sahara Smith...

Went out of the gates a little fast on Tuesday night before SXSW music had even officially started, and caught a baker's dozen of Austin bands at The Ghost Room, running from 4pm until 2 in the morning...opened up with Liars & Saints, and then Royal Forest (above), Leatherbag, Golden Bear, Wiretree, Dan Dyer, Sahara Smith, Cowboy & Indian, Zookeeper, The Lemurs, Sunset, The Great Nostalgic, and Followed by Static.

Pretty phenomenal back to front, but it meant that today, day one of SX, I was taking it slow...in the afternoon I did catch Matt the Electrician playing a benefit show at Guero's. Many shows here have become spur-of-the-moment benefits as SX reacts to the events in Japan. (Sahara Smith raised $100 for the Red Cross on Tuesday night just by putting out a jar + mentioning it once.) Then snuck out later this evening to see one of my favorite new Austin bands, Black Books, who boast the rarely seen drummer/lead singer, and play a kind of off-kilter dream-pop...their "Maria" lit it up + served as the highlight of my night. On the way home caught Amber Digby, honky-tonky modern country girl from Houston, playing the Continental. And tomorrow back into the madness...

 

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