Sigh. I don’t know about you, but I woke up this Monday morning regretting something that I did over the weekend. Well, as with many of us, it’s one of several regrets. The biggest of them all of course is what happened on Sunday night. I allowed myself to watch the MTV Video Music Awards. Like many of you, I’m a bit outside of the MTV demographic, and actually am one of those people who fondly recalls when the network used to have legitimate VJs and played music programming instead of the nonstop stream of reality shows and poorly scripted original programming. The letter “M” in MTV used to stand for Music, but today it either means nothing or has an alternate m-word that has replaced “music”. That alone is upsetting enough, but then the network continues its annual tradition of hosting the VMAs, which is their sole contribution to pop culture and the music scene in any given year. So they try and make the most of the night. They bring together the biggest stars in music, hand them moon man statues for being popular, and hope that somebody says or does something during a performance or acceptance speech that will make headlines the following days. The more eyes they can draw and the more controversy they can generate, the better. Again, it’s not so much about music as it is the business of keeping yourself relevant and hip. Which is why almost all the performances during the show were from pop stars (Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry) and hip hop stars (Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake) with a little room left over for some soulful singers (Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars). I guess this was the year we forgot about rock and roll, even if Mumford & Sons headlined virtually ever music festival known to man. And while I have more respect than you’d think for Lady Gaga’s art house film-inspired opening song, most everything else was a train wreck of varying proportions. Drawing the most attention, particularly with news organizations and Twitter, has been Miley Cyrus’ overly sexy, twerk-tastic performance as she spent half her time on stage dancing in bra and panties while grinding on Robin Thicke. There was something about it that to me reeked of desperation, though many are arguing it’s just a young girl trying to shake up her image and prove herself to be an adult. Britney Spears went through the same thing, and look at how well she’s turned out (<-- sentence should be read with extreme sarcasm). Whatever. The show is like a bad hangover that I'm now trying to shake and eventually eliminate from my memory. Perhaps some palate-cleansing mp3s as part of Pick Your Poison will help with that. Don't miss tracks today from Blessed Feathers, The Cloak Ox (ft. TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe), Dream Boys, Helado Negro, Left Lane Cruiser, M+A, Minks, ODESZA and Tape Deck Mountain. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream cuts from Cass McCombs, The Dismemberment Plan, Leverage Models (ft. Sharon Van Etten), London Grammar and Roosevelt. Anonymous Conglomerate – So What

Blessed Feathers – Ahbinreedis

Chris Malinchak – So Into You

The Cloak Ox ft. Tunde Adebimpe – King Rope

Dream Boys – Born Yesterday

Flume – More Than You Thought (Orikami Remix)

Helado Negro – Stop Living Dead

Keep Shelly in Athens – Recollection (Selebrities Remix)

Left Lane Cruiser – Juice to Get Loose

M+A – When (ft. EMAY)

Metropolis America – Bittersweet

Minks – Everything’s Fine

ODESZA – My Friends Never Die

Post Honeymoon – Kid With A Gun

Tape Deck Mountain – Pretend Friends


Cass McCombs – There Can Be Only One

Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener

The Dismemberment Plan – Invisible

Leverage Models – Sweep (ft. Sharon Van Etten)

London Grammar – Interlude

Roosevelt – Elliot