Weekly Obsessions: 7/10/2016

deerhoof-themagicGreetings, rock dogs! I know you’re all sniffing and digging and enjoying the whole world, but sit for a second and read about my weekly obsessions! Good dog. Bark Bark.

This week I want to talk about the latest album by Deerhoof, because it’s terrific, challenging and catchy. The San Francisco experimental rock group have been indie darlings for a while now, landing on a few critical best-of lists in the early part of the 2000s. For whatever reason, they didn’t catch with me at the time. When I saw that they had a new album out, I saw an opportunity for a reintroduction. This turned out to be an extremely good thing, as Magic is a fast and breathless tour through seemingly every genre known to man. Songs like “Kafe Mania” are built around a coherent riff and verse/chorus structure, but it’s gleefully distorted through the band’s unique sound. Satomi Matsuzaki’s lead vocals are ethereal and weird. Throughout the album, it’s sometimes hard to tell if she’s singing in English or her native Japanese. The hooks come so quickly and consistently that it really doesn’t matter what they’re saying. My highlight track is “Criminals of the Dream,” a dreamy, druggy song that eventually builds into a nice groove.

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In older news, I recently revisited a record that I associate very strongly with my freshman year of college. I put on 2003’s Her Majesty the Decemberists while I was cooking last night, initially only wanting to hear the evocative opening track, “Shanty for the Arethusa,” and ended up listening to the whole thing. I was vividly reminded of a specific time and place in my life and the experience reaffirmed my belief that the Decemberists are one of the most unique and fun groups working today. They’ve managed to hold my attention for 13 years now, and I still rank Her Majesty among the group’s best, and listening to it for the first time in years was like a phone call from an old friend.

See you pups next week! Bark Bark!


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