Etc.

Watch Mitski perform, Beastie Boys guest on “Kimmel”

Mitski and Beastie Boys appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last night. Ad-Rock and Mike D from Beastie Boys discussed with Kimmel about their new memoir, Beastie Boys Book, their career, the late Adam Yauch, their relationship with Kool Moe Dee, and more. Mitski, the night’s musical guest, performed Be the Cowboy tracks “Two Slow Dancers” and “Nobody.” Watch it all below.

Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine share new “Time” video

Singer-songwriter Angelo De Augustine has released a live version of his track “Time.” The video features Sufjan Stevens on piano. Watch their performance  from Manhattan’s Reservoir Studios below. “Time” is a single from Augustine’s upcoming album Tomb, which is set to be out January 18 via Sufjan’s Asthmatic Kitty Records. The LP was produced by Thomas Bartlett.

Sufjan Stevens also directed the music video for Angelo De Augustine’s song “Crazy, Stoned & Gone” from Augustine’s last album Swim Inside the Moon last year.

Kip Berman announces solo EP

The frontman of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Kip Berman, has announced his debut solo EP under the name Natvral. The EP, Know Me More, is set to be out October 5th via Kanine. Berman has shared the title track, featuring Fear of Men’s Jess Weiss, from the release. Listen to it below.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=423792103/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

In a statement, Berman discusses his new moniker. “I wanted to pick up my guitar and sing songs in a natural way, without all the things about music that aren’t music,” he says. The four-track EP, which was produced by Andy Savours, was recorded at London’s Wolf Den Studios in single takes. A cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” is the closing track in the project.

Adrianne Lenker shares new song “symbol”

Adrianne Lenker has released the second single off her upcoming album, abysskiss, titled “symbol.” Listen below. The frontwoman to Big Thief announced the album last month with its first single “cradle.” abysskiss is set to be out via Saddle Creek October 5th. Lenker has also announced a solo tour in support of her new album. Find the dates below.

Adrianne Lenker:

01-15 London, England – Union Chapel
01-16 Dublin, Ireland – The Button Factory
01-17 Manchester, England – YES
01-19 Ghent, Belgium – Charlatan
01-20 Paris, France – La Maroquinerie
01-22 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso Tolhuistuin
01-23 Berlin, Germany – Baumhausbar
02-04 Los Angeles, CA – Pico Union Project
02-05 Santa Barbara, CA – SOhO
02-06 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
02-09 Seattle, WA- The Vera Project
02-10 Portland, OR – The Old Church
02-14 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
02-15 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
02-16 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
02-18 Toronto, Ontario – Longboat Hall
02-20 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
02-21 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center

The Melodic Tree’s Weekly Playlist

1. National – James Vincent McMorrow

2. Too Much – Tora

3. Contra – Talos

4. 5 a.m. – The Millennium

5. Back Around – Dessert

6. Crab Supernova – Percolator

7. Sorrow – Life Without Buildings

8. Forest Fires – Axel Flovent

9. Colerain – Way Yes

10. Hallucinate – Oliver Riot

11. Fear of the Water -SYML

12. The Wisp Sings – Winter Aid

13. Epicurists – Jack in Water

14. Porz Goret – Yann Tiersen

15. Migratory Birds – Western Skies Motel

16. Cheeks – Shoecraft

17. Them – Nils Frahm

18. Februray Tales – Pill-oh

19. I’m Here – Rosemary & Garlic

20. The Quiet at Night – Mary Lattimore

What is Vince Staples Saying?

Vince Staples just dropped a great album. It seems ignorant to think that Staples was not artistically inclined in this album and was not using metaphors throughout the project. Here are some parts of the album that beg further examination and my hypotheses on them. You would be best served to listen to the album while reading this as the sound of the songs are just as important as their lyrics.

 

First we must examine the use of boats in the visuals for the album.

 

Why would Vince so heavily include the imagery of a boat in distress? Well there are a couple hypotheses.

One is that Vince is commenting on the ridiculousness of this common dream in the rap community of yachting and boating. Yachting and boating is only a dream because it is a declaration of wealth and power. Staples could be saying that such a dream is futile as material goods and materialism as a whole, is fleeting and unfulfilling. In the video for Big Fish, Staples could be saying that once the material good fails (as it inevitably will), you will be thrust into a cold and harsh world (the sharks).

Another could simply be that Vince doesn’t like this dream. And while he understands the inaccessibility of boats to the inner cities. He simply is not a fan of fetishizing the ownership of boats. He thinks it is wack.

Who knows? The use of boats in music videos have always been prevalent, Staples’ spin on this is clever and new, regardless of what he is saying.

 

Something that is more prevalent in this album than in other Staples’ projects is the use of house beats. Flume is a producer on the album and Love Can Be sounds like a U.K. house track.  This serves as a metaphor of shucking the preconceived boxes that Staples has been put into. House beats are often seen as a white form of production (even with roots in Chicago and Detroit) and Staples’ use of such beats are a deviation from the traditional form of Hip-Hop. Staples has never been one to conform to those around him and this shows that. Staples is actively flipping off the community that tries to label him and put him where they think he should be. By switching up the entire narrative re: production, Staples continues to assert control of his creative process and through that, his art.

 

Fish. It is all over this album. But what does it mean? In one phrase it can be summed up, the futility of man and his endeavors.

Crabs in a Bucket: a critique of the inner city and society as a whole, Crabs in a Bucket references crabs pushing each other down in order to escape the bucket. This critique of our current capitalist culture can apply to humanity as a whole. Humanity, as a whole is always trying to grow and make itself better. But because we are all trying to do that, we will inevitably end up hurting our peers and cancelling out any good we do.

Yeah Right: similar to Crabs in a Bucket, Yeah Right critiques the things that motivate us. The material possessions that are in front of us, preventing us from true harmony and true success. (maybe Staples is a socialist)

BagBak: in this song Vince is pretty much saying that no matter what he does, things will always follow him. No matter what anyone does, things are predetermined.

Most of all, Staples is calling humanity a big fish in a small pond. It may seem like we are the big predator of the world but in the grandest scale of things we are simply little guppies.

 

Shamana + Soundcloud songs for your summer

I don’t know who Shamana is or any of the history behind this song. But if you pride yourself on finding really cool stuff that not many others have found outside of the Soundcloud-verse. Check him out and check out this song.

On a related note, here are some Soundcloud songs, not all new, that you should be bumping heading into summer:

https://soundcloud.com/mxmtoon/the-idea-of-you