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Radiohead pulled through Dallas last night on their tour supporting last year’s The King of Limbs, and while the main set contained most of the tracks off that album (including “Little by Little,” “Feral,” and “Morning Mr. Magpie”), they did manage in a few lovely standouts from their OK Computer and Kid A (“Karma Police,” “Everything In Its Right Place,” “Idioteque”). Most notable though, even among the few new tracks currently in the tour’s circulation, was the live debut of a b-side that the band wrote over ten years ago. The track is called “The Amazing Sounds of Orgy,” which sounds almost exactly how one might expect.  You can view that below.

“Do the Astral Plane” is Flying Lotus’ late-album reminder that you’re supposed to be having fun. Forget all the self-serious overanalyzing. Don’t mind the perfect scores and the dazed, knee-jerk responses like “blown away” or “shit-hot.” Enjoy precisely what holds this collage of experiments above its pretensions: you can laugh, long and hard.  From that goofy opening beatbox to the sweeping strings, right down to the album’s most generous and easily digestible beat, Flying Lotus bounds across the line between cred-approved irony and actually surrendering to these melodramatic DJ tropes, amping up each element in an ascending escalator of synths and horns. Anything goes by the time you’re thinking “free jazz” at the expense of Nintendo glitches. I can only imagine what “do the astral plane” can mean for a track this flamboyant and sexy.

Note: This youtube version of the song includes the outro of “Mmmhmm,” the track preceding this on Cosmogramma. This is preferable for your listening pleasure for the sake of continuity and, well, it’s great. Just really great. Tell all your friends.

Cosmogramma was released May 4th on Warp Records

The way a new Caribou album always works, it should have been preceded by a “transitional record.”  In the time between Andorra’s baroque-pop and The Milk of Human Kindness’ neo-psych, continuity would tell us that this artist born Daniel Victor Snaith would need a few messy experiments before arriving at the airy wallop on 2007’s “Melody Day” from the overt DJ overtones on 2005’s “Pelican Narrows.”  I’d imagine there a few GBs worth of Caribou experiments, whole lost albums built up in practice, anticipating the final release to pull off another shape-shift.

To account for the last three years between Andorra and Swim, there are probably a few dance records taking up storage on a laptop somewhere as Caribou’s latest release hits stores today.  At first glance, Swim and first single “Odessa” appear to be skirting the trends that have prevailed into the new decade, slathering polyrhythms in swashes of color and sampled horns, undressing the flustered production that used to announce a Caribou track. But what initially comes off like a grasp at relevancy begins to reveal itself as a deconstruction of the dance tracks Caribou has been shoveling production onto for the last decade: “Odessa” takes a microscopic look at his usual flighty psychedelia and studies the obtuse, despairing beat that grounds it.  Add in impersonal lyrics detailing a woman leaving her man and “turning around the life she let him siphon away” and you have one twisted summer jam. The hardest part of breaking up is…

For those of you who haven’t checked out one of Japan’s most endearing songwriters (and why haven’t you??), now is certainly as good a time as any to seek out Shugo Tokumaru who, for this lowly critic’s money, released one of last decade’s strongest pop collections.  Shugo is gearing up to release his fourth album, Port Entropy, in Japan on April 21, three years after Exit’s sugar rush.  Based on the new video below, we are in for some more indelible, colorful, very foreign folk music.  No news yet on release dates around the world, but that shouldn’t stop you from eating up the rest of this man’s discography.  It is weird and humble in a very, very good way.

“Lahaha” off Port Entropy released April 21

【MyX 10.04】トクマルシューゴ / Lahaha

MyX | MySpace Video

Blame it on my peers (who have been a bit slow to this new genre reveal), but dubstep has been infecting the air lately.  Spreading to this disease is former Seattle-based producer Deceptikon (Zack Wright), whose latest release Mythology of the Metropolis has dropped the womp-womp kick right into his chill electronic work.  The result is nod-worthy tracks like Mythology’s propulsive opener, “Tokyo Burning,” which shows just how far dubstep has come at creating a legitimate and uniform sound, and how artists like Deceptikon are splaying it across their own influences.  “Tokyo Burning” even bangs a bit like old school hip-hop, flopping seamlessly between a woodpecker beat and a two-step jig worthy of the illest Biggie verse never recorded.  Makes one wonder what might happen if Flying Lotus decided dubstep was his thing.

Mythology of the Metropolis was released March 16 on Daly City Records

Spring Break was supposed to be something like The Best Week Ever (not the show, just its literal title). I had a job working 6th street in Austin, Texas where the biggest music extravaganza would be taking over. Make bank, watch a few bands, mock crazy drunkards. Spring Break! 2010! Let’s go!

68 hours of work and one show later, I don’t have much but a decent check with overtime, lost sounds of music emanating from venues (to note: YACHT, Javelin, Califone, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Frightened Rabbit, Acid Mothers Temple) and the bizarre image of drugged out frat boys crawling across beams to the tunes of Maps and Atlases. This particular free show (lovingly dubbed South by South Mess) took place at the 21st St. Co-op, a place notorious for its outrageous (and partially nude) parties, and Friday’s event (leading up to the night’s headliner, Andrew W.K.) proved no different. If only I could explain the shape and architecture of this labyrinth, but upon late arrival (nearly 1 a.m.) I can only remember throngs of people spilling from the streets, from every door, spooling around corners into the backyard and up the stairs until eventually an impatient line broke forth into a jittery group of college students ready to rock out. And that they did, in mesmerizingly unique and gradually hostile ways: as the band (obscured by the freakishly tall gaggle of kids that positioned themselves directly in front) broke out into “Every Place is a House,” limbs flailed…


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