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VIDEO PREMIERE: DEVON WILLIAMS “CIRCUS WORLD”

April 9th, 2020

Devon Williams is a songwriter's songwriter, dedicated to precision and economy even in a time when the concept of an actual economy is fast retreating toward wishful fiction. With Williams there's never any windmilling musical equivocation, no attention-desperate showing off, no vacancy of lyric or melody and nothing that isn't cut to tape (or ... carved to SSD?) unless it serves some deeply considered purpose. Some people like hooks but Williams likes a lightning strike—a zig-zag flash that throws everything into silhouette and relief for a moment and then lingers in a streak of color.

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VIDEO PREMIERE: BOYO “SKIP”

April 8th, 2020

"Skip" itself is BOYO's Robert Tilden in a clearer and maybe even more cheerful mode than some of his earlier work, maybe informed by his recently coming out the other side of some crushing medical experiences. There's a little of the Clean's happy clatter in here—it's a pop song pulled back down to street level, where it feels like a conversation with a friend instead of a message from above. That's always been part of BOYO's charm—the way the personality comes through. It's a song about leaving things behind, but sometimes that can be one of the best moves you can make.

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VIDEO PREMIERE: RUBBER BLANKET “APESMA”

April 7th, 2020

Beefheart's original "Apes-Ma" is already psychically disorienting, but it takes on an almost aerodynamic smoothness next to Rubber Blanket's bristly digital-primitive backing and man-vs-machine call and response. (Something of Threads' retro-apocalyptic "skeletons ... and skulls" energy in play here, maybe?) Think of those hissy Hardcore Devo demos, made by people in basements for other people in basements—music so underground it never ever saw the surface.

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VIDEO PREMIERE: EVAN WEISS “STILL RIPPING”

April 6th, 2020

Evan Weiss is something of a musician's musician—a lifer, you might say. He started with Wires on Fire and detoured into the very different yet still somehow recognizably connected outfits Slang Chickens and Junk between sideman gigs with Girls and the mighty Sparks, which is an achievement all its own. Now he's ready to put out his first album as simply Evan Weiss—the solo debut, another milestone in a guitar slinger's life—and here's the first single.

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VIDEO PREMIERE: BRENDAN EDER ENSEMBLE “THE SPIRIT OF” (F. COLLEEN GREEN + VERONICA BIANQUI)

April 3rd, 2020

Iconoclastic L.A. composer Brendan Eder has a new album slated for the end of this month, including this particularly charismatic song first inspired by a drum hook on an Antonio Carlos Jobim album.With what became an agile Avalanches / DJ Shadow-style beat underneath, Eder's "The Spirit Of" bloomed into a pocket symphony—all butterflies, spring flowers and pastoral sunrises as Eder leads his woodwinds through ecstatic aerial acrobatics. (Van Dyke Parks would definitely get it.)