Dudes – Sloth Eyes EP 7.7
This is the first Dudes release in the burgeoning genre of ‘slothcore’. Music can be so fast. When it is slowed down to the pace of molasses it can get unusually good. This is wonderful. Slowcore has nothing on the slowness of what is going on in these six tracks. Here everything is so microscopic in development that it is heartfelt. 
                ‘xenarthran’ is reminiscent of Earth at their most-country and most-gone. Here it lingers. Occasionally the guitar player remembers to hit a string every now and then. The space and time spent is worth it though, particularly towards the end where the tension becomes something dramatic. ‘cecropia’ follows where ‘xenarthran’ left off with a bit more in terms of sadness. A few moments of the song almost verge on tears. Tone more than melody takes over creating an emotional connection despite the slow pace. ‘let me count your vertebrae’ ends the EP on near-NAP status, with the sheer level of slowness and repetition borrowing themselves into the brain. 
                Calm doesn’t even begin to describe what is happening. Does this sound like it was recorded in a basement two decades ago, left there, and only discovered a couple minutes ago and re-mastered like garbage? Yes it does and that is its biggest selling point. ‘Sloth Eyes’ proves that fast and fidelity are glimmering sheens without meaning. With the time spent, the melodies stumbled upon, and the atmosphere of the recording it is touching the way grimy cassette culture is touching. It reaches the innermost part of the soul and says ‘hi’.

Dudes – Sloth Eyes EP 7.7

This is the first Dudes release in the burgeoning genre of ‘slothcore’. Music can be so fast. When it is slowed down to the pace of molasses it can get unusually good. This is wonderful. Slowcore has nothing on the slowness of what is going on in these six tracks. Here everything is so microscopic in development that it is heartfelt. 

                ‘xenarthran’ is reminiscent of Earth at their most-country and most-gone. Here it lingers. Occasionally the guitar player remembers to hit a string every now and then. The space and time spent is worth it though, particularly towards the end where the tension becomes something dramatic. ‘cecropia’ follows where ‘xenarthran’ left off with a bit more in terms of sadness. A few moments of the song almost verge on tears. Tone more than melody takes over creating an emotional connection despite the slow pace. ‘let me count your vertebrae’ ends the EP on near-NAP status, with the sheer level of slowness and repetition borrowing themselves into the brain. 

                Calm doesn’t even begin to describe what is happening. Does this sound like it was recorded in a basement two decades ago, left there, and only discovered a couple minutes ago and re-mastered like garbage? Yes it does and that is its biggest selling point. ‘Sloth Eyes’ proves that fast and fidelity are glimmering sheens without meaning. With the time spent, the melodies stumbled upon, and the atmosphere of the recording it is touching the way grimy cassette culture is touching. It reaches the innermost part of the soul and says ‘hi’.

Explosions in the Sky at Radio City Music Hall

           I’ve gone to concerts at Radio City Music Hall before. Usually they feel a bit stuffy due to me sitting down and politely casting judgment from the nosebleed seats. Tonight that didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself enjoying some of the benefits of having a giant room and seats.

                Eluvium came up first. He introduced himself with a brief “Good Evening” and proceeded to play for a short period of time. While I’d like to comment more on his performance, I happened to constantly hear the crackling of plastic candy around me which distracted me. So from what I could focus on he appeared to be a more indie version of George Winston. The playing was moody which fit the rather awful weather had tonight.

                Low came up next. They were sweeter than I expected them to be. When I hear their music, I think of the best kind of loving-making music. Keep in mind as I say this I’m a giant music nerd. Some of my friends have informed me this distinction is held by Belle & Sebastian. I’d like to change that to these wonderful people from Duluth, Minnesota who virtually embodies Minnesota nice.

                For this concert they had a quartet. All the songs were from their new album “C’mon”. In a live setting, I felt the album really does show a mixture between their “Things We Lost in the Fire” and “I could live in Hope” periods. Most of the songs were extremely quiet and slow. I’m not sure how many in the audience were as excited as I was for them, but I did hear a few ‘I love these guys’ so I’m glad I wasn’t alone.

                Actually, Low being there was the reason I decided to go in the first place. I’d never seen them before. Getting tickets to a concert just to see one of the opening acts probably cements my reputation as a Hipster, in case seeing Animal Collective twice didn’t already do that for me. But Low deserve it. They continually put out a good product.

                “Try to Sleep” started things up, followed by my personal favorite “You See Everything”, then “Nightingale” a few others, finishing off with a loud “Nothing But Heart”. If I had a problem with their set, it was probably a slight displeasure with the bassist. Occasionally I felt the bassist was on a different page than the rest of the band. Usually this wouldn’t be noticeable, but in a band as quiet and dependent on the low end as Low, it irked me ever so slightly. When they ended people clapped but I wished they clapped harder. Low does something so unusual in the music world by following their own muse rather than making naked grabs at the latest trends. Few bands have the guts to do that, so I respect them for the decision.

                Explosions in the Sky are a band I enjoy quite a band. When Post-Rock sort of fell by the wayside, these guys were just starting out. I felt bad for them as they were fairly excellent. They were resigning themselves to a genre with diminishing returns. Bands that get into these fading away genres can get ignored despite their obvious quality.

                Since they were the headlining act, they avoided such a fate. Before they began, they started out with heartfelt thanks towards the preceding two acts, particularly Low. As Explosions in the Sky excels at some of the quieter, more tender aspects of its sound, it didn’t shock me they considered Low a class act. I’m glad they brought Low in for the ride.

                What made them so interesting is their penchant for avoiding some of the Post-Rock template. Build-ups were there for sure, but they also randomly explode. This isn’t so much intellectual music as it is emotional. I didn’t realize a few people could make so much or so little sound. A few moments they literally stopped on a dime. Or the opposite would happen as their guitars propelled us to the sky.

                Perhaps their name is apt. They do well both in an almost shoegaze setting, with mellow guitar interplay. Sometimes they explode into glorious color, all the while never missing sight of the other players. Everyone on stage worked together to make the songs work; there weren’t any solos, a real rarity for a genre that embraces them.

                I hope someday soon when the 90s begin getting mined for material Post-Rock becomes one of those old genres newly embraced. As new bands discover the joy of Post-Rock, they’ll notice Explosions in the Sky kept the seat warm for them.

Low – C’mon 8.6

Low take their time in making their albums. Their last album came out in 2007, “Drums and Guns”. Before that, we had “The Great Destroyer” in 2004. Even their albums I haven’t been too keen on still show a band dedicated to a peculiarly slow-tempo vision. Their work’s quality justifies this slow approach.

                This might be the album that brings me back to their underrated album “Trust” or the better received “Things We Lost in the Fire” phase. For me, “The Great Destroyer” felt overproduced and drowned out a lot of what made them so special. “Drums and Guns” had that drum machine which gave the proceedings a kind of far-off feel. When I listen to Low, I usually like their more intimate, graspable sound. Having a drum machine and other electronic effects took away from that, for me at least.

                So “C’mon” makes me happy from the first song “Try to sleep”. As it starts up, I’m glad. Most of the album has similar moments. “You see everything” sounds fantastic, like a long-lost early 90s pop song. It sounds elegant, large, yet still has the fragility Low excels at. “$20” has no percussion at all; it is the sparest out of the bunch (which is saying something for Low).

                I’m happy to see they’ve embraced a lower-key approach this time around. Hearing the delicate drum work is a nice relief after the bombast and artificial sounds which populated the last two albums. This sounds more like a proper follow-up to “Trust”. 

                A dreamy attitude is present all over the album. Maybe it has to do with the guitars or the lyrics themselves. Either way, it is greatly enjoyable. The longest song “Nothing But Heart” even gives credence to this as it soars out of control towards the end (it actually gets surprisingly wild but the 8 minute length makes it feel justified). 

                Personally, I’m enjoying this album a lot. That Low I knew and loved, with its slow pace and quiet dynamics had come back after a several year hiatus. I welcome them back. C’mon is a hug for the ears from a friend who had me worried.

This is for perhaps one of my favorite people. Long before I became an unprofessional blogger, I wrote little short stories.  She approved of them, thought they were funny. For various reasons I won’t be posting those up on here, I just wanted you to get a sense of how much I truly care about this person.

                When it was my birthday, I got the least amount of hits ever for my blog. Upon that realization, I understood that I live in the real world. What this person did, this Air Force, she sent me an entire box of goodies for me to open. Now I just received it and can sleep easier as a result.

                We’ve been friends for years. What this playlist does is introduce her to a little bit of who I am and a little bit of who she is. The intention with this one is to bring both of our interests closer together. Also, this is partial repayment for the package you sent to me.

                As I have done for the more recent mixes, this one will be kept short and sweet. Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. 

1.       The Kinks – Afternoon Tea
Everything should start with the Kinks: weeks, drinking sessions, karaoke. The Kinks are the band that did no wrong. Plus, they are the most British thing I can think of.

2.       Modest Mouse – Doin’ the Cockroach
“Doin’ the Cockroach” introduced me to Modest Mouse. “Lonesome Crowded West” sounds American, Western to me. Since I grew up in the East I wonder whether or not that affected what I listen to, what I enjoy. This is a blast of a track.

3.       Meat Puppets – What to do
I like the low-key attitude of this song. Every MIX CD needs a flippant track, so here’s mine. 

4.       Wire – 106 Beats That
AF enjoys a type of music which leads me to believe she’d enjoy this as well. Hopefully she does, it’s a classic.

5.       Magnetic Fields – Papa was a Rodeo
Magnetic Fields released 69 Love Songs, and this one is easily my favorite. The relaxed atmosphere (obviously I’m a down tempo kind of guy) is perfect. 

6.       Tuxedomoon – New Machine
Actually, I lived off this band for a while in college. Years after the fact, this song inspires me like it is some kind of half-remembered Saturday morning cartoon. 

7.       Marine Girls – Second Light
This is twee cutesy music done right. 

8.       Yann Tiersen – Dust Lane
Triumph over adversity and geography. I wish geography didn’t stifle my dreams the way it does.

9.       Deerhoof – Secret Mobilization
Deerhoof are great. As soon as they get really sweet and caring, they explode. Just like people living, loving, and exploding. 

10.   Low – La La Song
She likes these guys. Clearly she has good taste paying attention to one of the most overlooked American band. 

11.   Xiu Xiu – Blacks
Few bands capture what a nervous breakdown sounds like better than Xiu Xiu. 

12.   Women – Venice Lockjaw
I liked their album a lot. By having more people listen to them, I hope the positive experience of listening will convince them to come back together.

13.   Pavement – She Believes
She believes in me!

14.   Washboard Rhythm Kings – Just Another Dream of You
Aw, this song says everything I’m too shy to say. 

15.   Tim Buckley – Anonymous Proposition
I’m glad I care about someone enough to put this on a MIX CD. One of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard in my whole life.

Altogether you have 55 minutes of sweet stuff. PS: I’ll send a MIX CD to this special someone, who might just be you (contact for further details!).
Like the Air Force, she protects me from the gray skies.

This is for perhaps one of my favorite people. Long before I became an unprofessional blogger, I wrote little short stories.  She approved of them, thought they were funny. For various reasons I won’t be posting those up on here, I just wanted you to get a sense of how much I truly care about this person.

                When it was my birthday, I got the least amount of hits ever for my blog. Upon that realization, I understood that I live in the real world. What this person did, this Air Force, she sent me an entire box of goodies for me to open. Now I just received it and can sleep easier as a result.

                We’ve been friends for years. What this playlist does is introduce her to a little bit of who I am and a little bit of who she is. The intention with this one is to bring both of our interests closer together. Also, this is partial repayment for the package you sent to me.

                As I have done for the more recent mixes, this one will be kept short and sweet. Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. 

1.       The Kinks – Afternoon Tea

Everything should start with the Kinks: weeks, drinking sessions, karaoke. The Kinks are the band that did no wrong. Plus, they are the most British thing I can think of.

2.       Modest Mouse – Doin’ the Cockroach

“Doin’ the Cockroach” introduced me to Modest Mouse. “Lonesome Crowded West” sounds American, Western to me. Since I grew up in the East I wonder whether or not that affected what I listen to, what I enjoy. This is a blast of a track.

3.       Meat Puppets – What to do

I like the low-key attitude of this song. Every MIX CD needs a flippant track, so here’s mine. 

4.       Wire – 106 Beats That

AF enjoys a type of music which leads me to believe she’d enjoy this as well. Hopefully she does, it’s a classic.

5.       Magnetic Fields – Papa was a Rodeo

Magnetic Fields released 69 Love Songs, and this one is easily my favorite. The relaxed atmosphere (obviously I’m a down tempo kind of guy) is perfect. 

6.       Tuxedomoon – New Machine

Actually, I lived off this band for a while in college. Years after the fact, this song inspires me like it is some kind of half-remembered Saturday morning cartoon. 

7.       Marine Girls – Second Light

This is twee cutesy music done right. 

8.       Yann Tiersen – Dust Lane

Triumph over adversity and geography. I wish geography didn’t stifle my dreams the way it does.

9.       Deerhoof – Secret Mobilization

Deerhoof are great. As soon as they get really sweet and caring, they explode. Just like people living, loving, and exploding. 

10.   Low – La La Song

She likes these guys. Clearly she has good taste paying attention to one of the most overlooked American band. 

11.   Xiu Xiu – Blacks

Few bands capture what a nervous breakdown sounds like better than Xiu Xiu. 

12.   Women – Venice Lockjaw

I liked their album a lot. By having more people listen to them, I hope the positive experience of listening will convince them to come back together.

13.   Pavement – She Believes

She believes in me!

14.   Washboard Rhythm Kings – Just Another Dream of You

Aw, this song says everything I’m too shy to say. 

15.   Tim Buckley – Anonymous Proposition

I’m glad I care about someone enough to put this on a MIX CD. One of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard in my whole life.

Altogether you have 55 minutes of sweet stuff. PS: I’ll send a MIX CD to this special someone, who might just be you (contact for further details!).

Like the Air Force, she protects me from the gray skies.

This is the most ambitious quiet music I’ve ever  heard. Since autumn comes in full swing, with sweaters being brought out  of the closets, I figured now would be a good time. Listening to such  quiet music, it is like the knee jerk reaction to loud, stupid,  overbearing mainstream music. 
 “I could live in Hope” avoids most of the  egoism of rock and roll. None of the players appear to be particularly  interested in soloing at any time. Rather, the sum is greater than the  total of their parts. By the way, they don’t actually rock. There’s  nothing on this album to indicate such a thing.
Most  of their music following this album followed a similar format. Vocals  seem to float together in space. The bass appears to be particularly  prominent, though that may also be due to the lack of volume. According  to legend, during their first few performances, they got heckled for  their quiet attitude. Rather than satisfy those annoying Duluth crowds,  they put the volume down. Now if that isn’t the most polite punk thing  to do, I don’t know what is.
 Slowcore basically got invented by these  guys. From the beginning of their career, they knew how to keep things  moving at the pace of molasses. Plus, in case being slow wasn’t enough,  they stripped down rock to a guitar, bass, and the sparest drum kit  known to man.
 “Words” starts things off sort of  explaining their mindset. The lyrics “Too many words” and “I can’t hear  them” dive deep into your brain, as does the vocal delivery. It is a  unique delivery. “Down” and “Drag” are probably some of their best songs  to date.
Autumn marks the beginning of browned lawns  and dead leaves. I really think the album sort of captures that quiet  desperation. Unlike Codeine, the music doesn’t get particularly  experimental. No loud surprises are in store for you; just one of the  few bands carving out their own niche in an overcrowded field.

This is the most ambitious quiet music I’ve ever heard. Since autumn comes in full swing, with sweaters being brought out of the closets, I figured now would be a good time. Listening to such quiet music, it is like the knee jerk reaction to loud, stupid, overbearing mainstream music. 


“I could live in Hope” avoids most of the egoism of rock and roll. None of the players appear to be particularly interested in soloing at any time. Rather, the sum is greater than the total of their parts. By the way, they don’t actually rock. There’s nothing on this album to indicate such a thing.


Most of their music following this album followed a similar format. Vocals seem to float together in space. The bass appears to be particularly prominent, though that may also be due to the lack of volume. According to legend, during their first few performances, they got heckled for their quiet attitude. Rather than satisfy those annoying Duluth crowds, they put the volume down. Now if that isn’t the most polite punk thing to do, I don’t know what is.


Slowcore basically got invented by these guys. From the beginning of their career, they knew how to keep things moving at the pace of molasses. Plus, in case being slow wasn’t enough, they stripped down rock to a guitar, bass, and the sparest drum kit known to man.


“Words” starts things off sort of explaining their mindset. The lyrics “Too many words” and “I can’t hear them” dive deep into your brain, as does the vocal delivery. It is a unique delivery. “Down” and “Drag” are probably some of their best songs to date.

Autumn marks the beginning of browned lawns and dead leaves. I really think the album sort of captures that quiet desperation. Unlike Codeine, the music doesn’t get particularly experimental. No loud surprises are in store for you; just one of the few bands carving out their own niche in an overcrowded field.