We’re known for being a bit long winded in our write ups of live shows. To give us an unfiltered, top line breakdown of the Sylvan Esso show at Lagunitas Brewery, we turned to one of our musical correspondents, QuarterLifeCrisis, to give us his thoughts.
First day of school year
No plan, left two behind
Pre food beers
Tiny venue w no stage
Local vibe/ split audience
Asian girl culk shirt possibly rolling
Drunk in and out puke
A lot of knob twisting outta that guy, she’s got a killer voice
Are they in love
Scratch the surface of Francis Lung’s A Selfish Man and you’ll find a clear message. A directive unearthed from his past: the decision to leave his band, WU LYF, and go solo.
Whirling guitars and fuzzy synths create a merry-go-round of echo and delay peddles. It’s dreamy and upbeat, but like his shoe gaze counterpart, Wild Nothing, a smoldering emotionality pierces through, and Francis Lung confronts the unknown.
They say you can’t come back
S’why I never left
They say you can’t come back
Babe that’s why I never left
As legend tells it, Kim Jung Mi was a quiet student in the early 1970s when renowned songwriter, composer, producer, and South Korean legend Shin Joong Hyun brought her on to sing on Now. Kim, Shin, and their backing group taped a 10 song record together, with Haenim as the opening track.
The result was a soft psychedelic folk number that’s simple and warm. Listening to Haenim, I imagine it may stand out more now, in an era of Chainsmokers and Ed Sheeran, than it ever did amidst the release of The Rolling Stone’s Angie and The Allman Brother’s Ramblin’ Man.
Nick Hakim. Nick Hakim. Nick Hakim. I kept seeing the name everywhere. Cymbal. Spotify. @nprmusic. The New Yorker. A Pitchfork article “The Eclectic Soul Music of Nick Hakim” gave me a sense of the man, but not the music.
Like anyone who’s late to the party, I quickly took stock to see if there was anything I could grapple onto. Some way of staking my claim.
I half-listened to Hakim’s top three songs on Spotify (I Don’t Know, Cuffed, Papas Fritas), skipping ahead more than once. The aesthetic was tantalizing but the sound didn’t connect. I dropped it.
Pre-Outside Lands (a wonderful and hedonistic blur of beer, trampled grass and Future Islands), I flopped onto my bed, fully clothed, shoes dangling over the edge.
Work was done for the week. Music, loud and all-encompassing was streaming off my girlfriend’s phone. I listened to whatever was playing, and began to drift, my face scrunched into the crisp, white sheets.
The lack of control was freeing. I hovered for a few minutes. Nothing spiritual about it. Just an absence of mental chatter – freewheeling space – Aladin hovering over a city of lights, absorbed in the current of whatever was playing, which upon stretching to turn over her phone was Nick Hakim’s soul music.
Ironically, it wasn’t slack lining over the pool that broke the GoPro…
Rubblebucket – Not Cut out for This
100° from The Aftmth on Vimeo.
At the heart of Nutrition’s remix of Ruby Haunt’s Freeway Crush is a feeling of vulnerability. An audible yearning for something majestic. Something lasting.
The original, by Laguna based Ruby Haunt, is in fact full of heart-ache. With a drum kit, Stranger Things-esque keyboard, and plodding bass line, Ruby Haunt creates a watery landscape. We’re a child kicking a pebble on a rainy day, contemplating something larger than homework.
Nutrition lays on the accelerator a bit, adding the tap tap of a cymbal, draws out the synths and pulls the song out of adolescence and into the present – to focus on the person drifting next to you. The romance of driving at night. Hugging turns. Flashing lights. The odd notion that, “driving is a spectacular form of amnesia.”