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Category: music videos

This Week in Music: 1-30-15

Every Friday, instead of sharing downloads and Soundcloud streams, we take a quick look back at the many other music-related things that happened this week in a segment that’s appropriately called “This Week in Music.” If there was a great or noteworthy music video that was released, it’ll be featured here. If an artist gave a particularly noteworthy interview, that might pop up in the links below. The same goes for interesting articles related to music, documentaries about bands, and just generally whatever might strike my fancy. If you’ve got something fun or important related to an artist that you think should be mentioned here, shoot me an email! All the information you need is in the sidebar on the right. So here’s this week’s wrap-up. Click the links below, and you’ll be off!

Music Video: Hundred Waters – Show Me Love (Nicole Miglis Acoustic)

Watch a mini-documentary about Panda Bear and the making of his new record

Music Video: Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

YouTube Audio Stream: Lower Dens – To Die in L.A.

Music Video: Mourn – Your Brain Is Made Of Candy

Watch Zola Jesus perform her song “Nail” live outside during a blizzard in NYC

Music Video: Kanye West – Only One (ft. Paul McCartney)

Tickets for the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival are on sale now!

Music Video: Purity Ring – Push Pull

Music Video: Run the Jewels – Lie, Cheat, Steal

Album Review: Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper [Domino]


85Heat WaveNoah Lennox aka Panda Bear has been making music for a long time. Nine albums and a bunch more EPs with Animal Collective, and counting Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, five solo full lengths as well. That’s a wealth of material, made all the more interesting by how his sonic and lyrical themes have evolved over the last 15 or so years. The one thing he’s never been is complacent, and that’s served him particularly well on landmark records such as 2007’s Person Pitch and 2009’s Animal Collective release Merriweather Post Pavilion. Though each new piece of music stands alone as its own unique statement, we have reached a point where there are certain qualities that define a Panda Bear song. Things like samples, reverb, psychedelia and overdubbed vocal harmonies have become par for the course, it’s just the way they’re presented that has changed.

Following the dark, dub-infested minimalism that was 2011’s Tomboy, it’s something of a relief that Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is a bit more well-rounded, albeit still quite serious affair. Singles like “Mr. Noah” and “Boys Latin” bounce, swirl and ensnare you with their hooks before you have the chance to realize you’ve been sucked in, the words often so obscured with reverb that you’re never fully sure what they’re saying but sing along anyways. That’s part of the charm. Yet when a phrase does come across with clarity, as on the latter track with the line, “Dark cloud has descended again,” it turns a seemingly joyful moment to one of dread. Such is the dichotomy that permeates much of the record, as Lennox embraces the love and serenity that growing older and having a family can bring, while at the same time wrestling with the fear of dying and leaving them all behind. The album title itself spells that out explicitly when the lyrics don’t.

At it’s heart however, Grim Reaper seeks to establish an overall focus on good triumphing over evil and finding the pleasures in life, one day at a time. The two tracks at the center of the record, “Come to Your Senses” and “Tropic of Cancer,” take a break from the frenetic sound collages that dominate much of the album to offer moments of sobering contemplation and outright beauty. On the former, Lennox chants, “Are you mad?” over and over, each time with a slightly different intonation, as if he’s trying to suss out what those three words even mean before finally deciding, “Yeah, I’m mad.” With the latter, harps and pianos plink with a heavenly sort of grace, as Lennox considers life after death and in doing so revives some of the memories of his own departed father from more than a decade ago. It’s a bit of a callback to his 2004 solo debut Young Prayer, which was created as a tribute to him.

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper probably won’t be remembered as the best Panda Bear album, though it is his most accessible and all-encompassing to date. Thanks to its meticulous sequencing and reflective themes, it’s the sort of record that takes you on a journey and leaves you off in a much better place than where you started, even if it took some serious chaos to get there. Chalk up another big win for Mr. Noah.

Buy Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper from Domino Records

This Week In Music: 1-23-15

Every Friday, instead of sharing downloads and Soundcloud streams, we take a quick look back at the many other music-related things that happened this week in a segment that’s appropriately called “This Week in Music.” If there was a great or noteworthy music video that was released, it’ll be featured here. If an artist gave a particularly noteworthy interview, that might pop up in the links below. The same goes for interesting articles related to music, documentaries about bands, and just generally whatever might strike my fancy. If you’ve got something fun or important related to an artist that you think should be mentioned here, shoot me an email! All the information you need is in the sidebar on the right. So here’s this week’s wrap-up. Click the links below, and you’ll be off!

YouTube Audio Stream: Burial – Temple Sleeper

Music Video: Ex Hex – Don’t Wanna Lose

Stream an 80-minute set from Panda Bear, recorded last May at Brooklyn’s Warsaw

Music Video: Interpol – Everything Is Wrong

Jack White is getting his own Topps baseball card

Music Video: Viet Cong – Silhouettes

David Byrne is staging a color guard show ft. performances from St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, How to Dress Well, Kelis, Dev Hynes and more

Music Video: The Weeknd – Earned It (NSFW)

Watch an interview between Sleater-Kinney and the girls of Broad City

Music Video: Charli XCX ft. Rita Ora – Doing It

Read Killer Mike’s essay about Martin Luther King Jr.

Music Video: Modest Mouse – Coyotes

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