Just lean a little bit closer…

Because these roses don’t smell anything like poo-poo-poo. I can tell you nothing about Sebastian Paul, beyond the fact that he shares a name with a polish techno DJ and a member of Parliament in India. But take a listen to the song “Roses” and you’ll know immediately that he isn’t either of those things.

It’s somewhere between the creepiest club quasi-bangers and the roughest R&B you’ll ever here. That might sound terrible to you, but for me it’s fascinating. You can check out the entire album The Messiah Complex here.  I wasn’t bored for a second.

Music to Trot the Globe to…

Somehow we’ve found ourselves halfway though summer 2015.

I hope that some of you have had the chance to vacate your desk for more than a long lunch break to catch some well deserved and muy importante vacay time. And perhaps a few of you are gearing up to take off soon. Whether you’re headed to Paris, France or Paris, Texas, we’ve got some tunes to guide you on your journey.

1) We all need a trip, don’t we? Get ready with Vacationer –caitiebee

2)  Dengue Fever’s “Tiger Phone Card”, a call-and-response duet that beautifully chronicles the tribulations of a long-distance relationship, is a great travel companion for an Ambien-fueld flight across the globe to visit a significant other. —rye

3)  Speaking of Ambien-fueled plane rides, this cut from James Pants emulates the blissful experience of gazing over the ocean from the cabin window once your substance-of-choice kicks in. —rye

4) I’ve never met a city I couldn’t get lost in, loving this new cover of Frank Ocean’s “Lost” by Major Lazer and MØ –caitiebee

5) Have you ever taken a night boat? I did once, from Italy to Greece, let’s just say that there were pet chickens roaming around the top deck and a few people who may or may not have been gypsies. Madness knows the madness in “Night Boat to Cairo” (Make sure you watch this video!) –caitiebee

6)  If ridesharing is your preferred means of travel (like John Waters), ask your driver to throw on Marvin Gaye’s “Hitch Hike.” —rye

7) You might just meet someone to sing along to Elastica’s “Car Song” with… –rye

8) My preferred method of travel will always be walking, putting my own footprints all over a foreign land. A Tribe Called Quest knows what I’m talking about, not to mention that Stevie Wonder sample will always brighten my day. –caitiebee

9)  You’re bound to need a taxi/uber/pedicab/chariot at some point no matter where you end up. Let Bobby Benson’s “Taxi Driver (I Don’t Care)” tag along—rye

10) Culture clashes are inevitable, but sometimes they can be so beautiful. Like that one time that Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons toured India, met the Dharohar Project and made some pretty great music. Check out “Devil’s Spoke: Sneh Ko Marg” –caitiebee

11)  The Box Tops – The Letter: A classic about about the urgency of needing to see your lover. RIP Wayne Carson, one of the song’s writers who passed earlier this week.  —rye

Let’s talk about Touchy Mob (again)

I heard this nasty rumor that a certain cult favorite of mine was no longer making music…

But GET EXCITED! (HURRAH!) This week he released a new full length album that comes highly recommended by yours truly. You might not know him yet, but there’s no time like the present to get to know Mr. Touch Mob. (YAY!)

If I must describe it for you—the album almost sounds like what might happen if Bon Iver, Baths and Cocorosie spent the fall trapped in a haunted german castle. Though in my humble opinion his music is unlike anything else I know and worth a listen no matter who you are.

Check out his new album Let My Wild Boys Shine in the Boomers below.

Favorite track: “You Got Me in Chains Tonight”

PS: You can find my original love confession to Touchy Mob here.

Happy Birthday Mr. Moz

The very first time I ever heard of Morrissey was on an airplane. I was young, and I sat next to a record label executive. Naturally he was hit with an intense game of 20 questions from me, the tiny music nerd, one of which was about the worst thing he’d ever had to do for the biz. He replied, “Work with Morrissey.”

I also remember the first time I ever actually paid any attention to Morrissey. It was my freshman year of college, and my friend Juan loaded up my computer with every Smiths song ever made. I couldn’t listen to anything else for months.

Despite the fact that you’d have to walk on eggshells just to be near him (Wait is that animal cruelty?), his music has an addictive quality that I know many of you can’t shake either. You know that you have a problem when you are crying about Morrissey over Mother’s Day brunch. Yes that really happened, yes it was me, and yes it was this year.

So let’s raise a glass to the Pope of Mope on his 56th birthday. Whether you are blaming rhino extinction on Beyonce or demanding a vegan food court, we love you.

1) Let’s start out with the reason we are all here, The Smiths. Every Smiths song is my favorite Smiths song, but this one means a lot to me in particular because it was actually the first song that I heard outside of mainstream radio, yes I remember! “Girl Afraid” -caitiebee

2)  You won’t see “Shakespeare’s Sister” on many essential Smiths lists, but it’s one of my all-time favorites and also the first I ever heard (sniff) –rye

3)  Active during the same era, The Wedding Present garnered their fair share of comparisons to The Smiths, but often wrote songs with a greater sense of aggression and urgency. So let’s hear a particularly Smithsian one, “Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft” –rye

4) Sir Elton understands the importance of a sad song. Though Morrissey has said in the past, “Bring me the head of Elton John…which is one instance in which meat would not be murder, if it were served on a plate.” Harsh! Here’s Elton John’s song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” -caitiebee

5)  The artist known as Jobriath is said to have heavily influenced a young Steven Patrick Morrissey. Indulge in “Take Me I’m Yours“, the opener of his first album –rye

6)  While we’re excited for Morrissey’s FYF set, we realize it’d be a fool’s errand to get our hopes up, given the man’s well documented history of tour cancellations. Here’s one from a group with a Moz influence: “Cancel On Me” by Bombay Bicycle Club –rye

7) And then there’s those bands that I love mainly in part because they sound like The Smiths. Case in point – Merchandise. Love these guys. Here’s “Enemy“.  -caitiebee

8)  Voxtrot’s poetic “The Start Of Something” is so Smiths it hurts…in the best possible way. –rye

9) There are also always plenty of haters. I enjoy the Pet Shop Boys song “Miserablism” – allegedly a satire of the Moz man -caitiebee

10) And we’ll close out the playlist with another ego stroke and a Morrissey solo track, and one that makes me feel happy at that. “Sing Your Life” -caitiebee

Music to sing-a-long to…

There are some really great cover songs…and some really bad ones too. Right now let’s focus on the good ones, some that might even be better than the originals. And hey! It’s probably a lot of songs that you’ve heard before, just in a whole new light.

1) To start us off, here is my absolute favorite cover of all time. We downloaded this song illegally years and years ago, back when that was legal. A really creative cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice by The Gourds.” -caitiebee

2) James McNew, the bassist of Yo La Tengo, has a side project called “Dump.” In 1991, Dump released an album polluted with lo-fi, grungy Prince covers called “That Skinny Motherfucker With The High Voice.”  Here’s “When You Were Mine” –rye

3) I was always indifferent towards John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” until I heard Donny Hathaway take it to new heights on his “Live” record performance.—rye

4) “Toxic” by Britney Spears is a brilliant pop song. It’s that one Britney song that people don’t mind admitting they love. I also enjoy this Mark Ronson version. -caitiebee

5) Always good at turning anything just creepy enough, Cocrosie did a great job making my feel weird lisening to the Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl“. -caitiebee

6)  Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish singer songwriter Sinead O’Connor announced this week that she’ll no longer perform one of my favorite songs, “Nothing Compares 2 U” live.  So who will carry the torch? Capital Cities, perhaps? —rye

7) Growing up I loved all of those “punk gone pop” albums, you know when some up and coming hard rockers would cover Backstreet Boys. Here’s some of today’s punks going pop, on a song that became famous as a cover to begin with, Joyce Manor’s “Video Killed the Radio Star.” -caitiebee

8) Another one of my favorite songs turned totally creepy, SQURL featuring Madeline Follin covering Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love.” -caitiebee

9) Of the many versions of Kraftwerk’s “The Model”, former Residents member Snakefinger’s version comes out on top, with Big Black taking a very close 2nd. —rye

10)  Ryan Adams re-imagined  Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years“, really capturing the wistfulness of the song’s lyrics. To me, this is what covers are all about –rye

11) Here is a song that, I must admit…when it came out…I didn’t even know was a cover. But it is! A cover of a Kate Bush song! Here is “Hounds of Love” by The Futureheads. -caitiebee

12) Never thought David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes” needed a cover until I heard Warpaint take a crack at it —rye

13)  “Age Of Consent” – One of my favorite songs ever receiving a tender Geographer treatment –rye

14) This one blows me away, Nina Simone’s version of “The House of the Rising Sun.” -caitiebee


We met a kid outside of Ralphs selling chocolate bars the other week. Figuring he was doing a school fundraiser, I asked, “What are you selling these for?” He responded, “Oh, well, as a part-time job, you know, to stay out of trouble…” he smiled with a grin full of metal braces, “I also want to make enough to rent some time in a recording studio.” I asked what kind of music he did, he replied that he rapped. I asked if he would rap for us, he said, “Sure, it’s gonna be explicit though…” Needless to say, we almost bought the whole damn chocolate box.

One day, I’ll stumble upon the music he’ll record. But for now, I like this other 17-year-old rapper named Yo$hwa. Some might know that I have an affinity towards musicians with dollar signs in their name, but there’s a lot more to this boy than just the $$$. Check out “Homeward” off his mixtape Sweet Solar System.

Cheap Wine

This song kills me.

PS – My grandmother would choose Charles Shaw over one of these any day.

You guessed it – Gongbanter’s 2014 faves!

I still only half believe it – but 2014 is just about over.

That means it’s the time of year again where we haphazardly judge all of the music that’s been filing our heads for the past 365 days and put our findings in list form.

Here are ours!

caitiebee top picks:

1) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

I never thought that a punk album would make me cry. But man oh man, this one has made me sob. In case you were living under a rock in 2014 – this album is a BIG deal, and it’s incredible.

2) William Onyeabor – What?

Remixes of a Gongbanter favorite, by some other favorites. Word on the street is he will put out a new album about his new-found savior Jesus, that one will probably make it on the list next year.

3) Homeboy Sandman – Hallways

Most everything this man touches turns to gold. Every song on this album brings something new to the table, maybe because just about each song is produced by someone new – from the likes of Jonwayne and Oh No.

4) Iceage – Plowing Into The Field of Love

Iceage made an album that I could actually maybe show to my parents. It may have pissed of some fans, but it’s a welcomed change for me.

5)  Merchandise – After The End

I hate to repeat myself, but Merchandise made an album I could maybe show my parents, and it’s not a bad thing.

6) Hozier – Hozier

I LOVE THIS MAN AND EVERYTHING HE DOES. He has this talent to make us fall in love with his music, and there is no contest after you’ve seen him live. I’m excited to what more is to come with this shining star.

7) Glass AnimalsZaba or Silk Rhodes – Silk Rhodes

Sorry, I can’t decide which makes me want to dance in my chair more.

8) The Acid – Liminal

This album is beautiful.

9) Gardens & Villa – Dunes

Again another Gongbanter favorite with their second full length album. Word on the street is that they are already cooking some more tunes up in studio.

10) D’Angelo – Black Messiah

This one if for all of the suckers that posted their lists before it came out.

rye top picks:

1) Sharon Von Etten – Are We There

Very emotionally raw and intense album. She let’s it all bleed out on this one.

2) Frankie Cosmos – Zentropy

Another emotionally raw record, but in a different way. Makes the list mostly due to the lyrics “My ass is made of velvet and my hips are made of stone/ And if you really love me you will leave me alone.” Lyrical poetry

3) Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty

Power follow-up to the killer “Black Up.” As many have pointed out, the spirit of Sun Ra runs strong throughout, which no one seems to be complaining about.

4) Adult Jazz – Gist Is

In 2014, very few albums managed to challenge and disorient me while staying as insanely hooky as “Gist Is.”

5) William Onyeabor – What?!

Hats off to the folks at Luaka Bop for their persistence in making the initial compilation and remix album happen. I’ve gotten sucked into this hypnotic pop gem an embarrassing amount of times this year.

6) Spoon – They Want My Soul

In a landscape where the concept of the “album” slowly goes the way of the dodo, it’s particularly sweet to hear a crushing record from start to finish.

7) Aesop Waits – Tom Shall Pass

Most mashups these days seem lazy and uninspired, and seem to exist just because they can.  Enter “Tom Shall Pass”, an album that combines the works of Aesop Rock and Tom Waits. They complement each other so well it’s stupid.

8) Various ArtistsThe New Basement Tapes

Love when an idea delivers beyond sounding good on paper. Contemporary artists recording songs inspired by a collection of unearthed lyrics from Bob Dylan. Featuring an all-star team of T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Dawes and Jim James among others.

9) Hozier – Hozier

Jesus, this man rips. Did anyone actually dislike this album? If so, come at me, I’ll be posting up at the Cowboy Palace Saloon for the holidays.

10) Shintaro Sakamoto – Let’s Dance Raw

I’ll always be a sucker for albums that masterfully juggle genres. In this case, folk, funk, jazz and country elements come together in a record that aims to move and succeeds in a big way.

Premiere! – “Science Camp” by Ghost Tiger

Santa Barbara’s Ghost Tiger is set to release a new EP in early 2015, Some Friends Feel Like Family. Lucky for you – here in 2014, we’ve got our hands on the first single and are premiering it exclusively for you.

Quick warning: if you aren’t looking to have a song stuck in your head all week, don’t you dare hit that play button. It’s an earworm for sure.

Beyond catchy though – it’s dynamic, thoughtful, and kind of makes me want to run through a field of tall grass. “Science Camp” marks an exciting change in style for the band. It is bolder and more energetic than anything we’ve heard from them before, and we can’t wait to hear what more is to come.

The full EP will be available on January 13, 2015. And if you are in the Santa Barbara area, be sure to swing by their album release party at SoHo on Saturday, January 17.

Without further adieu ladies and gentlemen – “Science Camp”

Musik to Prost to…

Some of you may head to Munich this year for Oktoberfest. I’ll warn you ahead of time, you may watch an Australian guy puke in his stein (true story) or trip over a pile of passed out men in lederhosen in the street (also a true story). You have lots to prepare for. Can’t make it to Germany this year? You are in luck – there are tons of local spots to fill your belly with hefeweizen, heck, Santa Monica has a vegan version. In honor of the Vaterland, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite German/drinking songs. Prost away!

1) The #1 rule of Oktoberfest – invest in an outfit. Trust me, that thing will come in handy for years to come (or is that just me?…) Here’s my favorite song about a lederhosen clad man – Hans-A-Plast’s Lederhosentyp. -caitiebee

2) Korpiklaani – Let’s Drink  This folk metal group is not from the Vaterland, but deserves a spot on this playlist for its ability to inspire massive beer consumption on an Andre The Giant scale. Let’s raise our weapons. –rye

3) Attendance to Oktoberfest should inspire nothing more than “celestial joy,” so why not let mostly-German Horrid Red set the mood with some dark, woozy post punk?  Horrid Red – Celestial Joy  –rye

4) Need something easier to digest, while still getting a healthy dose of Deutsch? Did you know that big acts like The Beatles and Marvin Gaye, in an attempt to woo the Vaterland, learned and performed some of their biggest hits in German? Take Marvin Gaye’s Wie Schoen Das Ist for instance. -caitiebee

5) Perhaps your are planning to visit the Vegan-fest by the sea, how about some German reggae as a soundtrack? Seeed – Aufstehen. -caitiebee

6) We’ve all been there– you wake up wondering why your lower body reeks of Blaukraut and Kasespatzle whilst a crumpled, beer-soaked Drindl stares at you from the corner of your room.  In moments like these, you really just need a good soundtrack to reflect on life’s repeated mistakes. I’ve always found that the gorgeous grooves of Krautrock royalty Cluster can aid you in this journey. Here’s “Hollywood” –rye

7) Maybe you’ll spend so long dancing in a Berlin nightclub drinking vodka and Club Mate, that you won’t even make it to Munich at all. For all you masters of the morning – Modeselektor – Berlin. -caitiebee

8) Did you guys know Dee Dee Ramone, bassist of (you guessed it) The Ramones is half German?  Did you also know that he had a solo career under the moniker “Dee Dee King” under which he experimented with rapping? Well you do now!  An arguable pinnacle of this short-lived effort is a song called “German Kid”, in which Dee Dee makes the ill-advised decision to rap in both English and German. Oh, and backing vocals provided by Debbie Harry of Blondie. And no we’re not fucking with you.  Genießen Sie! Dee Dee King – German Kid –rye

9) At some point, you’ll be tired and probably wet and definitely cold, and you’ll probably hate Oktoberfest. Here’s an angry German song for you to decompress to, the title translates to “Germany must die” – enjoy! Slime – Deutschland Muss Sterben. -caitiebee

PS: If you ever find your way to Munich – get ready for a lot of DJ Otzi.