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The new song “Real Life” from the upcoming True Panther released EP by Tanlines, Settings, is available now.
If you’ve been following Tanlines and the band’s rapid ascent of the mountain, you’ll recognize this song. They have played it live, and it’s a jam. For the first time, I think, Tanlines is featuring the vocals of Eric Emm more so than the beats of Jesse Cohen or Emm’s guitar parts. This is an interesting move– Emm’s voice is David Gray like in it’s tenor, in a really nice and comforting way. It gives the song a romantic vibe… over all those dance-like inflections there is heartache and yearning! It’s a refreshing mix.
The EP is available soon. Info here.
Tanlines is playing Brooklyn Bowl, (will they fill the cavernous bat cave with sound??), with Acrylics on Feb. 5.
Tanlines: Real Life
This year saw the rise of “chillwave,” throwback beach songs filtered through haze and electronic dance pop. Full on guitar bands were pretty non-existent and everyone seems to be drugging the hell out of their sound. Cacophony abounds. Here are my favorite tracks of the year…these aren’t any any particular order, per se. And it was really hard to figure out which were the best…
Hopefully, there will be a best albums of the year post coming soon… but in all honesty, great FULL albums are few and far between these days. For all the reasons you can imagine.
Dirty Projectors “Useful Chamber”
“Useful Chamber” starts with a flat and droned out electronic beat, and synths, then veers into an acoustic guitar picked transition. It’s back to the synths and drones, female vocals that imitate the synths, and back to acoustic picking. And it builds and builds and then cuts to just a drum beat. Longstreth sings a few lines in a flat tone and then boom! The song gets louder, a guitar squeals and there’s a melody that brings you through all the glorious muck. Another cut. This time, the normally angelic vocals of Angel Deradoorian, Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle come in, harshly. They turn pretty, miraculously.
In perfect call and response, Longstreth’s wavering vocals return.
I’m caught up in a storm
That I need no shelter from
He needs no shelter because even though he’s in a storm, it’s not scary, not uncomfortable. It’s just strange and complicated. And you won’t believe this. The song cuts out again and we’re onto the third distinctly different section. To conclude, weave the three sections together. (Taken from my review of Bitte Orca.)
Dirty Projectors: Useful Chamber
Mountain Man “Animal Tracks”
I think i’ve said enough about this song by now. These girls make me feel completely intoxicated, even when i’ve injested nothing. This is music that sounds modern and ancient at the same time.
Mountain Man: Animal Tracks
Real Estate “Fake Blues”
Perfect pop from New Jersey that sounds like The Allman Brothers, (I just figured that out yesterday, how right is that?). Seriously though, it’s been a long time since a band made music that is so easy to listen to, yet so rich with innuendo, love and devotion.
Real Estate: Fake Blues
Discovery “Osaka Loop Line”
This album came out of nowhere, and took my head by storm. This is definitely the best track off of it, and the patterns, time changes and jagged sounds will leave you spinning.
Discovery: Osaka Loop Line
Tanlines is Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm- and their music is nothing short of a cocktail, part full-time high, part energy drink. This is the stuff made for life’s fun moments. “Bejan” is particularly good if you’re at the gym and you really don’t want to be there. In other words, these beats can make anything fun.
Ecstatic Sunshine “Turned On”
Ecstatic Sunshine was the best electronic/rock band of the ’08s and haven’t gotten too much love lately… but this track “Turned On” is hypnotic in the best of ways. It was inspired by The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” too, which is awesome.
Ecstatic Sunshine: Turned On
Matt Mondanile could be the musician of the year. He has his guitar licks down pact, as evidenced by his work in Real Estate. He adds so much richness you think you might have a heart attack. In Ducktails, Mondanile weaves tapestries of sound that you can literally lose your mind trying to find your way out of it.
Neon Indian, MNDR, Toro y Moi at Mercury Lounge (repeat on Wed. and also Thursday at Brooklyn Bowl), 9ish
Cold Cave and Small Black at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9ish
Telepathe, Walter Schreifels, DJ Nick Zinner (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) (WEIRDEST BILL EVER?) at Studio at Webster Hall, 8ish
Future Islands, Pictureplane, Javelin at Death by Audio, 8ish
Friendship Bracelet Presents, featuring Big Troubles, Byrds of Paradise and more, Cake Shop, 8ish
Pterodactyl, Dinosaur Feathers, Grandchildren, Julianna Barwick at Cameo Gallery, 8ish
Tanlines, Pictureplane, Future Islands, Reading Rainbow at Market Hotel, 9ish
White Out (with Thurston Moore), Bardo Pond at (le) Poisson Rouge, 7ish
Babies (Vivian Girls, Woods, Bossy), Gary War, Men & Women, Coasting at Ash’s Place, 9ish
Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers), Sharon Van Etten at Mercury Lounge, 10ish
TAKE A TASTE
The Babies: Meet Me In The City
Tanlines: Power Everything
Big Troubles: Freudian Slips
Kurt Vile, Wild Yaks at Europa, 8 pm (email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter to win 2 tickets!)
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Fools Gold at (and Wed. at Music Hall of Williamsburg) 8ish
Javelin, Juiceboxxx at Monster Island Basement
Dirty Projectors, Tune-Yards at Bowery Ballroom, 8ish (also Thursday and Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Sunday at BB)
Big Star, Kurt Vile at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, 8ish
Times New Viking at Mercury Lounge, 10ish (and Thursday at Union Pool, 10ish, Friday at Maxwell’s, 10ish)
DIY In Brooklyn pres. by Break Thru Radio featuring Frat Dad and Byrds of Paradise at Shea Stadium, 8
Lemonade and Tanlines at Glasslands, 9ish
Fuck Buttons, Growing at Market Hotel, 9ish
Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Cold Cave at Terminal 5, 8ish
Pixies at Hammerstein Ballroom, 8ish
According to a release on the Matablog True Panther Sounds has been bought by Matador Records. Dean Bein (check the Q&A with him) will still run the label. Basically I think this means more money for everyone involved on the TPS of things. Maybe that means a well deserved Tanlines national tour? Will it mean these bands will end up on Gossip Girl, like another recent Matador band??
I’m sure all involved are real psyched on this deal. Now Bein will probably get to hire some people, or maybe that intern of his can start to get paid.
Dean Bein of True Panther Sounds is the man behind the biggest (probably) break out band of the year, Girls. Bein also threw like, 4 CMJ shows, DJed a FADER party, and even did another party on Sunday of CMJ weekend– when the shit was already over. He’s devoted to sound. Bein took some time out to discuss the music of Girls, working with Matador, the appeal of cassettes and records, how to pronounce his last name and more.
How and when did you start True Panther Sounds?
My friends Molly, Avi and I started a band called Red Tape Apocalypse so our friend Sam could have a vehicle to learn how to play guitar. We wrote some songs and decided we should go on tour. We made a recording in the basement on my 4-track, mixed it on a friend’s computer, pooled our money and put out a tour-only 7″. That record sold so we decided to put out another one using the money. The label has sort of kept afloat on that one-to-one project style since then. That was in 2006. Putting money into something, praying it would sell enough to put out something else.
You started in San Francisco right? Why the move to Brooklyn?
We started in San Francisco. At one point I realized that growing up in SF and moving back there made it really difficult to focus on anything. San Francisco is a fantasy-land in the best and worst possible ways- you can walk down the street, get some free pizza, step into Dolores Park and run into 20 of your best friends. It was really hard to accomplish anything longterm for me there because it had so much history for me. Once I got to New York I realized how vital the music scene in San Francisco actually is and how unfortunate it was that it didn’t really have a loud voice singing its praises.
How many people work for you? Do you operate in Cali too?
Nobody works for me. The label started out as just Molly, Avi and myself. Then it was just me. Now I’m really lucky to work with the staff at Matador to promote and support TPS releases. I also have a really smart industrious and generally awesome intern named Ben Mallett who helps a couple of times a week. But I don’t have any employees, per say.
How do you find talent, primarily?
I listen to music from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, usually go to sleep listening to music. I trade music with friends, talk about it with them, DJ radio shows and parties, collect records, etc. Music is pretty much my life, so a part of that is constantly discovering new bands and musicians. I’m lucky now to also have the bands that I currently work with hip me to things they think are cool.
Tell me the story of Girls, were they first friends of yours? Did you know instantly that they would get so much love?
I used to see Christopher around SF a lot. I ran into him at Glen Park BART one morning at 8am as he was going to work, and I was going to work. I found it really surprising that he was up so early and commuting to San Mateo for work. A few months later, I was living in New York and incredibly homesick. I heard his and JR’s songs and completely fell in love, overwhelmed by the images of San Francisco they evoked and the beauty and intimacy of their songs and recordings. I feel like most people, if they are listening with an open heart, will recognize that their songs are really special, and have a sincerity that is rare these days.
I was a little stoned on Sangria Friday night but that didn’t dull my senses at all. The bands that played the Matador/True Panther showcase were all awesome. Not only did I enjoy the show wholeheartedly but now I can also write about it joyfully.
First up was Harlem. What the hell kind of a name is Harlem (pictured) for a punk pop band from Texas? Anyway- the guitarist (who later played drums) was wearing a Beavis and Butthead t-shirt and that was enough for me. The band really delivered on poppy yet distorted hooks, bass driven songs and infectious fried chicken-jump around melodies.
Next up was Tanlines— a band i’ve hailed many times before. There’s something about the duo of Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm that is as strong as… hmmm, Soju and Korean Fried Chicken? (Why do i keep writing about chicken?) Seriously, Tanlines is a power house of dance beats, tropical digital sounds and light guitar notes. You know those songs that just build and build and break just when they should, when you’re on the brink of flipping out? That’s like the definition of a Tanlines song. Even though I was in the dark and kind of dingy Suffolk on Suffolk Street, I felt like I was in a Jamaican dance hall with sand floors and with very few clothes on.
Lemonade (pictured) took the stage next. I’ve always liked Lemonade’s jams but I’d never seen the band live before. And now I promise you there will be lots more writing about them going on right here. I haven’t heard music like theirs before–they commandeer the well-charted territory of dance noise without an ounce of pretension. Oh and did I mention the drummer was in his underpants? And they were tight and striped??
The music of Lemonade is a potent mix of dance-y beats and sampled sounds mixed with hardcore drumming (on real drums and electronic pads) and sunny vocals. PopTarts said the sound was like Professor Murder meets Black Dice, which is an interesting mash-up. Everyone should definitely see these guys– you’ll dance your face off like you have a purpose.
Cold Cave was one of the most hyped CMJ acts to hit New York last week. Their dark, almost industrial music went well the extremely dark stage and with their look- all black clothes and somber faces. I felt like a vampire or a bat in a cave. But I wasn’t scared. Cold Cave’s music is both slow and aggressive, moody and somehow poppy. While the crowd brooded, inside they were ecstatic. The music of Cold Cave is powerful and visceral. Maybe a little boring in a live setting, but something tells me that’s the point. Enjoy the darkness.
It’s about time for a Tanlines/Restless People post. I’m not sure what to call this set of bands- a collective? The website “Family Edition” posts info on Restless People and also about another group, Newborn Huskies. But I don’t think Tanlines is a part of that “Family” even though they kind of are in reality. Anyway- all of these bands were once in Professor Murder…
Restless People is Jesse Cohen (also in Tanlines), Mike Bell-Smith (once in Professor Murder), Eric Emm (also in Tanlines) and Tony Blankets (i think that’s his real name, he is also Newborn Huskies and was in Professor Murder).
Tanlines is Jesse and Eric. Eric is one half of Brothers, and Jesse works over there, too.
Tanlines are playing a lot of CMJ shows, see their Twitter for details. And Restless People are playing their first show ever on Monday, opening for another first timer, Washed Out, at Santos Party House. WOOOOO it’s gonna be fun.
All of this is party time music, by the way.
Restless People: Days of our Lives (Light in Mix)
Featuring who they say is “their girl,” Best Coast, (I say she’s mine, so there!) and a great track by Tanlines, who are actually mine cos I know them for real, like in life. The FADER does too though. I’ve heard they are putting out a compilation featuring a track by Tanlines. Maybe this is it….hmmm.
Anyway, it’s called “Something” and the mix is sponsored by Absolut and I know that I Absolutely need a fucking vodka, right now.
Question- do the bands see any of the sponsorship money?
Last night’s bill at the Bowery Ballroom was pretty close to perfect. The night started with a swaying, Carribean Island-influenced electronic pop set by Tanlines. Next up was the shoulder-pad-wearing one-man band Pictureplane. Last was the utterly vicious aural assault band HEALTH. Each act was different- but they all had the crowd moving. In different ways, of course.
Tanlines is Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm. The duo has been getting lots of buzz lately for their infectious and light-bright dance sounds. This is music to get lost to. Cohen builds a hazy jam expertly, and Emm accompanies with pretty vocals and a jangly guitar: all resulting in music that you move to, without even thinking about it. That’s not to say this is spacey music- it isn’t. It’s well planned out pop. Tanlines played a new song, “Real Life,” which was likely the best of the set. That’s a good sign.
Pictureplane is Travis Egedy, who hails from Denver. (When he mentioned this last night the whole crowd laughed.) Egedy set up a table with various electronics on top of it and proceeded to surround it in tin foil. This created a wholly disorienting light show once he started playing- which worked well with his tribal beats. Egedy mashed up different tempos and textures like that’s how life is supposed to be- rapidly changing and shifting but never with an ill step.
While Tanlines and Pictureplane have electronics in common, they actually live on opposite sides of a coin.
HEALTH are an electronic metal band. That’s how my friend described it, which sounds about right to me. What is so killer about HEALTH is the full-on attack they deliver. This is a band that is so used to grime, grit and exhaust fumes (they hail from the City of Angels), they have nothing else to do but get it off their backs through music. And they certainly do it well.
HEALTH inspires, or rather, provokes movement, too. But it’s not like the other bands that make music in order to make others dance. With HEALTH you have to move- there’s no other option. The music is so visceral that standing still is basically impossible.