I have been stressed as shit this week, I am not sure why, but I want to punch someone in the face, right now the likely candidate is Del because he has the most punchable face of the bunch. Tom is a close second because someone needs to knock that gorgeous bastard with that perfect hair and chisled haunches down a peg.
I think it is probably a matter of my schedule being off, knowing that everything is going to be rushed because of the holiday weekend. It leaves me unsettled and anxious. Luckily there is STOP SLEEPING. It is like my own little oasis of unbridled joy.
It is the one column that I get to sit with and soak in a new song or two while reading a gaggle of my favorite writers, and Brandon. It makes my balls tingle and my ear drums dance. Whether it is the underground Bay Area hip hop of Employee or the weird bluesy sensibilities of Joel, it always makes me smile. It always washes away whatever is up my asshole making me a surly son of a bitch.
STOP SLEEPING is the perfect cure for what ails me, hopefully for you delightful pricks as well.
I like to fancy myself a romantic. I am a 40 year old straight man with an awesome kid and lady, I have the confidence to finally admit publicly that I get weepy during rom-coms and those AT&T commercials where dudes drive across country to get back with their lady pals or golden labs. I love the feeling of manufactured heartache. It's life affirming when a song, image, or moving picture gives me the tinge, with that slight ache I go fucking ape shit. Clare and the Reasons nail that shit. I listened to The Lake a good 72 times in a row. It makes my balls ache with it's glorious anguish and vaguely French vibe. I want to eat cheese with a waifish foreigner named Olivia and make fun a fatties wearing God Bless 'Merica shirts when I listen to these amazing assholes.
More than a year ago I came across a video for Trip by Vacationer. I listened to the shit out of this song for about a month, but up until last week I had no idea that Vacationer released a full album. I admittedly may have crossed them off as one of those bands who release one dynamite single and are never heard from again. However, Vacationer is NOT one of these bands; their album Gone is stellar. I listened to it 3 times straight. If you take musical advice from Del and are familiar with his unhealthy obsession of TV Girl; imagine that sound blended together with Vampire Weekend. If I wasn't such a fucking Fuck face and came across this album 14 months too late I'd give it a solid 8-9 star fellating review. CHECK THIS BAND OUT. (I know I always say this....but seriously, don't be a shit stain....I MEANZ IT THIS TIME).
This is one of those SYFFAL submissions that was a completely pleasant surprise. After sifting through 50 other bands that hate my ear holes, the Monks of Mellonwah take the proverbial roastbeef and shove it deep inside my sarcophagus. Not only does the video feature that FOINE ass broad from House, the drummer/singer is the perfect blend of seedy Albanian, rowdy Italian, and what ex-Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis looks like after huffing glue. Sure, the strat is out of tune slightly, with a dash of chorus effect for good measure, giving it that hippy 'we play our music outside because that's where we live' vibe to it, but I likes it. I'm looking forward to listening to more tunes from these coozemuffins, but first I'm going to watch this shit on mute and have my way with myself. DUDE IS FOINE! I mean! I mean!
Can a band of Bloc Party's stature (headlining the Hard Summer) qualify for "Stop Sleeping" status? I thnk so. Facebook tells me that only 18 of my friends have "liked them". Using the small sample size of my digital friends as a bloc barometer and a microcosm of the world around me then I have to say this is the most valid and necessary Stop Sleeping I've ever submitted. Kele and Co have reunited after a hiatus that lasted for too long. Now is the time to embrace them if you didn't before. Chicago and SF they are festival'ing in your neck of the woods too so make sure you see then. The band's balanced combination of driving bass, propulsive steady drumming, guitar shredding, and Kele's impassioned voice can not be matched. Their debut album, 2005's Silent Alarm is a picture of a band starting off on all four cylinders and never looking back....and, dare i face the wrath of Timmy Bakes, it is quite possibly the best debut LP since Guns and Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle". Stop sleeping on them before they break up for good. If that happens I'll forever blame everyone outside of those eighteen facebook friends of mine.
Last year this surgical spitter from San Jose, CA dropped two of rap's best albums: Super Duty Tough Work and Pushers & Prophets. Using his scathing sense of humor and nimble delivery, as though they were reminders of days passed, he powers through a wealth of material. Operator Chan (Opski Chan) is not virginal to this here game in any way, though. Before his 2011 pair of powerhouse offerings he could be found on earlier cassette gems, house parties, collabos, local shows, and everywhere else in the city he calls home.
Notable, too, is his A&R repertoire: he discovered the now-burgeoning South Bay-sensation that is ANTWON. Point being: the man has an ear for rap and will rap yours off in the process. Below is the video for Op's "So Butter"; filmed and edited entirely in San Jose. Also clickity-click-clack the link to transport to Opski Chan's Bandcamp page (both of the albums I listed above are available there in addition to a heap more music).