Flesh Eaters see ghosts, Tim Heidecker ices it, Rustin Man unveils the world, Iron & Wine passes time and more in today’s Roundup. It’s so cold out that I saw a squirrel put a heating pad on his nuts. Heyooooo!
1 If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already read my glowing review of the new Flesh Eaters album I Used to Be Pretty. And if you have any sense, you’ve already shelled out for the L.A. punk supergroup’s universally acclaimed comeback disc. Well, here’s your reward: A new video of the epic closing track Ghost Cave Lament, starring fearsome howler Chris D. and his band of legendary Angelenos. And for those who aren’t up to speed: Get on that right away. After all, they ain’t getting prettier. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “A few weeks after we completed the album, I was saying to the guys that what was so special is that we were no longer just the sum of our parts — we were more than the sum of our parts. We were like a single, symbiotic organism, and we each unconsciously, intuitively knew what the rest of the band was going to play split seconds before we played it. Sometimes I’ll listen to one of the songs now, and it really raises the hair on the back of my neck.” Mine too:
2 Somebody needs to make America laugh again. If only to stop from crying and screaming at each other. That someone could comedian and sometime singer-songwriter Tim Heidecker. Two years after his scathingly satirical Too Dumb For Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs, the front half of Tim & Eric returns to mock The Orange One and his followers with his new EP Another Year In Hell: Collected Songs from 2018. Here’s the first taste: The lyric video for the country ditty Ballad of ICE Agent Ray, illiterately tweeted by you-know-how. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Featuring six songs that are caustic renderings of MAGA characters, both imagined and real, Another Year In Hell boasts the same signature piano and guitar lines from Heidecker’s previous release, but with a sharper bite. While Too Dumb For Suicide made us question when we should stop laughing at our current administration’s incompetence, this release reckons with the disasters that occur at the intersection of stupidity and cruelty. Heidecker marries the absurd to everyday horrors, building a distinctly contemporary hellscape throughout.” Sad:
3 Rustin never sleeps. Not this close to a release date, anyway. With his sophomore album Drift Code landing Friday, singer-songwriter Rustin Man — the musical persona of Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb — is chumming the waters with a third preview of the disc: The slow-building, Bowiesque piano ballad The World’s In Town. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is the first time Paul has written songs specifically for his own voice, and he turns out to be a gifted character actor, adopting various vocal roles across the songs, as heard on Judgement Train and the previously shared Vanishing Heart. As you might expect from someone of Webb’s pedigree, Drift Code is a deep, detailed work. The passage of time, the living space full of art, treasured objects and junk, the years spent listening to film music and ’40s standards are all audible. But there’s a surprising spontaneity to it too. The album has a warm, wise kind of euphoria to it, coupled with an acute sense of storytelling and surreality.” Crack the code:
4 Back when Iron & Wine‘s sophomore album Our Endless Numbered Days came out in 2004, one of my coworkers suggested the cover illustration of bearded singer-songwriter Sam Bream could looked a lot like yours truly. And to be fair, he wasn’t wrong. Of course, there’s a lot more grey in my beard and a lot more lines on my mug these days. Thankfully, Bream’s music hasn’t aged a bit. As you’ll undoubtedly notice when Sub Pop releases an expanded 15th-anniversary edition of the disc on March 22. Get in the mood with this soothing acoustic demo of the song Passing Afternoon. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This version will feature eight previously never before heard demos, new artwork, and a 12-page booklet including liner notes from author Amanda Petrusich.” That should help pass the time:
5 We are all products of nature and nurture. Including singer-songwriter Jackie Mendoza. Born and raised near San Diego and the Mexico-U.S. border, Mendoza was influenced both by life in her hometown and the culture of her Mexican homeland. And since she grew up listening to Latin pop, she sings in both Spanish and English, blending Latin dance beats with electro-pop. Listen for yourself on her tenderly trippy new single De Lejos. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “De Lejos is the perfect first taste of Mendoza’s eccentric sound. Written about the emotional difficulty she faced while being in a long distance relationship with her girlfriend, De Lejos originally had a ukulele, synth-pop backbone, but after working with producer Rusty Santos, it eventually took the form of a ballad with a minimal beat.” Nurture her nature:
6 You almost have to feel sorry for Bruiser and Bicycle members Nick Whittemore and Keegan Graziane. Every day, somebody must ask them which of them is Bruiser and which is Bicycle. Truth is, B&B began as a full-blown band, but has since whittled down to a duo. Which is not to suggest they’ve dialled back their sound. The Train, the first single from their upcoming sophomore album Woods Come Find Me, confirms that their noisy approach to psyche-folk has only become more concentrated. So you don’t feel sorry for them after all. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Bruiser & Bicycle’s lead track from their upcoming Woods Come Find Me LP starts with a ripping distorted guitar octave, quickly followed by a full-bodied acoustic accompaniment. The two dissolve into each other, providing an expertly crafted bed for Nick Whittemore’s tender, wandering vocals. An uproarious start to the record, the song pivots between vocal interplay and textural guitar soloing before it gradually dissolves to a looser landscape, using elements from throughout the song in abstract, overlapping reductions to create a stuttering slowness, sounding not too unlike a train running out of steam and grinding to a halt.” All aboard:
7 When you call your band Venus Furs, people are going to assume you sound like The Velvet Underground. And to some degree, they might be right. But there’s more to this Montreal outfit than meets the eye — or ear, in the case of their darkly seductive new single Chaos and Confusion. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Chaos and Confusion is the second single to be heard from our yet-to-be-released debut album. Inspired by Cat Power, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and TV On The Radio, Chaos and Confusion was self-produced … Get lost in the layers of sound.” No confusion about it: