The Well-Played List, 3-7-2014: Neneh Cherry, RJD2, Tiny Empires, Cloud Nothings & more

This week's most played jams; audio, video & Spotify playlist included.




RJD2, More Than Isn't (2013), Since We Last Spoke (2004) I've always been a big fan of Ohio producer/multi-instrumentalist RJD2, who's gotten a bit more sci-fi spacey in recent years but has never lost his fine-honed hip hop production qualities and mix of live instrumentation, synths and samples that are almost always carried on an urgent danceable beat or a more laid-back disco funk grooves. His latest album is just as super high quality as his last ones; hell, there's very little this guys does that I don't like. 'Course, hearing his new jams makes me want to listen to his old jams, namely the album that turned me onto RJD2, Since We Last Spoke, a more rock and New Wave-oriented early album and still an all-time fave. Can't wait to see him at Gasparilla Music Festival this Saturday.

Each Other, Being Elastic (2014, Lefse) A Montreal, Canada trio that crafts a blend of spazzy math/art rock, dissonant driving Kraut-y post-punk and tumbling psych pop marked by appealing droning vocal harmonies. Haven't had a chance to really dig deep into this one but loving what I'm hearing so far. Listen to "Send Your Signals" after the jump and find out what the rest of us are jamming this week...

NICOLE aka ELAWGRRL | Photographer, Only Music Has the Answer

Tiny Empires, Weird Headspace (Out April 15, 2014 on Kiss Of Death Records) These songs have been running through my head since I first heard them last Fall at pre-FEST in Ybor City and then again at FEST in Gainesville. To say these songs are catchy is an understatement. However, the ear worm melodies are punctuated with a certain melancholy that builds to a crescendo that's at once cathartic and a bit optimistic. Also, it's clear someone in this band has been on a Morrissey kick. Tiny Empires features members with deep roots in emo and punk — mid Carson July, O'Pioneers and New Bruises. To get a taste, stream "Just Imagine" below ... and then you can go ahead and pre-order the download now.

ADAM KUHN | Music fan and scenester with discerning taste | Front End Designer, Big Sea Design & Development

The Body, I Shall Die Here (2014) Nobody ever accused this blackened doom metal duo from Providence, Rhode Island of being cute, and this is perhaps their downright scariest and most challenging work yet. Their spare thundering drum/guitar dirges are almost gone. Instead, they've team with electro-drone artist Haxan Cloak and move from brash organic sounds to more ambient and notably digital textures, adding a new layer of bleak despair that might be the perfect soundtrack to your next anxiety attack.

Neurosis, Souls At Zero (1992) This is one of my all-time favorites, a record I come back to every so often and appreciate more with each listen. Incorporating hypnotic tribal drums, acoustic guitars, string arrangements, some unsettling samples and the unmistakable tortured howl of Scott Kelly, this record found Neurosis veering hard away from their previous hardcore punk roots and into sludgy post-metal territory largely uncharted at that time. A pioneering band's opus.

Natural Child, Dancin' with Wolves (2014) These Nashville youngsters make some of the most downright danceable garage rock I've heard in sometime, with a loose and often juvenile sense of humor. This album finds them maturing both musically and lyrically, but they're still not above some lowbrow lines about women and whiskey, this time with a heavy dose of country swagger that includes some well-placed slide guitar and more than a handful of bluesy riffs that immediately bring to mind Exile on Main Street.

Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else (April 1, 2014, Carpark) I wrote off the first critically-adored release from these guys, couldn't find myself getting into the abrasive '90s-influenced vocal styles and borderline emo lyrics. I've come around — their new LP is raw energy, at times feeling like a youthful, updated Replacements with a drummer that shreds with absolute wild abandon. Icing on the cake: they'll be at Crowbar on April 22 — I'd suggest grabbing your tickets before this album officially drops.

SARAH GECAN | Daddy Kool Records and No Clubs Entertainment

Have Gun Will Travel, Casting Shadows Tall As Giants (2009) I have had track two stuck in my head since Sunday, and I'm not mad about it. I'm sure all of you know who Have Gun Will Travel is by now, that they're from Bradenton. Though I too know this, every time I put a CD of theirs on from the Daddy Kool Records 'play' stack, I have to double check to see what incredible national alt country act is blaring over the speakers is, only to be reminded that it's a local favorite.

These guys are awesome and I can't wait to see them return to town to play New World Brewery with Whiskey Gentry on March 22...

Pre Gasparilla Music Fest playlist - I've been spinning all the artists coming to visit us in Tampa this weekend as I ready my must-see list for Gasparilla Music Fest this weekend at Curtis Hixon Park. The Flaming Lips, Jason Isbell, Delta Spirit and RJD2 have been at the top of my playlist, but I've been discovering a lot of new music, too. Anders Osborne's intimate guitar driven narratives and Those Darlins' richly textured guitars are definitely must-sees. My most anticipated local act is Atlantic Oceans, the new project from Sleepy Vikings' Tessa McKenna & Julian Conner.

CHRIS NADEAU | non-musician
Permanent Makeup

My favorite way to buy new music is from bands I play with on tour or while they are on tour through Tampa Bay.
A couple weeks ago, my band Blast and the Detergents got to play with ripping thunder punk metal outfit Yautja from Nashville in the kitchen of a legit house in Richmond, Va. I feel so fortunate that our date lined up to play with these heavy crushers and I was able to scoop up their brand-new already-sold-out LP Songs of Descent. Crisp, heavy bass tones pummeling through super tight drumming and solid guitar riffing. Not a wasted second on this record. Dig their cool writeup on Noisy from a month or so ago, too. They've played in St. Petersburg in the past and I sincerely hope they come back, for all our sakes.

Everyone who knows me has heard of 'No Wave' — the late 1970's NYC middle finger to volatile punk's subjugation into marketable New Wave — and I consider it one of the most important movements in music. One of its luminaries, Glenn Branca, recently received an essential re-issue of his religious experience of an album, Lesson No. 1 from the great record label Superior Viaduct (they were responsible for the Devo: Hardcore AND 100 Flowers vinyl re-issues last year). This 1980 album follows Branca's work with pioneering No Wave bands Theoretical Girls and The Static, and leads to his shift to classical composition featuring electronic guitar orchestras with dissonant tunings. Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore appear on Lesson No. 1 and Branca's influence on Sonic Youth is well documented.

JERRY DUFRAIN | DJ Lazy, Orpheum co-owner
I am going local this week and giving my highest recommendation to Tampa's own New Cathedral. Their new EP Ghost is solid from start to finish. NC gives me the same shivery sensation that I had when I first heard Murder By Death's "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left Of Them." A creepy, brooding, and cinematic piece of Americana-inflected rock n' roll.

MELANIE CADE | Mojo Books & Records

Shannon and the Clams, Dreams in the Rat House (2013) An entrancing melange of vintage soul/R&B, psychedelia, punk and rockabilly, intermixed freely and borrowed unabashedly. The lo-fi, fuzzed out distortion can feel heavy-handed to start. But let it absorb for a bit and you may realize the rest of life is just too crisp.

The Handsome Family, Wilderness (2013) This husband and wife duo has been kicking it out since the '90s. Murder ballads and traditional country sounds abound. It's not nostalgic, though. An air of surrealism and a post-modern comfort with the dark join with enthusiasm and heart for a unique experience. Now their song "Far From Any Road" graces the opening credits of the show True Detective, and The Handsome Family is getting some new and well-deserved attention. Wilderness, their most recent album, is both fresh and a continuation of two decades' work. Both albums are available on vinyl at Mojo.

JULIA STEWART / MoonGoddess Entertainment LLC
Chromeo, White Women (May 12, 2014)

Damn Right, Frozen Sun (2014)
The track "Halo" appeared on the new Comedy Central show Broad City.

Jimkata, Feel In Light (2014)


Neneh Cherry, Blank Project (2014) She’s come a long way from the days of “Buffalo Stance,”, her 1988 breakout hip-hop/pop smash hit. The Swedish-born, England-raised Cherry is back with her first proper solo album since 1996's Man (although she did release a wildly experimental collaborative album with jazz group The Thing in 2011). Neneh toys with hip-hop, rock n’ roll, jazz, electronica and soul music for her latest outing and the results are as dynamic as they are diverse. I’m pretty hooked on the album’s title track — it might be one of Cherry’s finest compositions and vocal performances yet, although “Out of the Black,” a duet with fellow Swedish songstress Robyn, is pretty amazing, too. Produced by electronic wizard Four Tet, Blank Project is easily one of the most innovative and intriguing pieces of work Cherry has ever committed to wax and may be her strongest and most consistent album to date. A performance of the title track below.

KEITH ULREY | owner, Microgroove, New Granada Records
Having the pleasure of being one of maybe 40 attendees at tonight's David Bazan (ie. Pedro The Lion) house show, part of his national "Living Room Shows" tour, and I've been nerding out this week with a Pedro/Bazan marathon.
I had the pleasure of seeing the band on their first S.E. tour back in 1998 and it really impacted me as something special. I'm hoping tonight's show will do the same...

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