Wampire – Bazaar

by The Insomniac

Top Tracks: Wizard Staff, Fly on the Wall

Wampire is a psychic circus behind a haunted orchestra of keys and horn, a dark and chaotic duo from Portland, Oregon whose synth-laden LP “Bazaar” dropped this past October. It’s an odd unfocused record, wavering between jam tracks and dreary-eyed dreamscapes. When they wander, they fail, but when they know what they want, they’ll grab your attention.

Think Cut Copy meets Midnight Juggernauts. And after they meet, Broken Bells shows up and have them listen to Ryan Gosling’s musical side project Dead Man’s Bones. That’s all you need to know before diving into this record. It’s maddening and paranoid, which works when they turn on the heat for their faster-paced tracks like “Bad Attitude” and “Sticking Out”. In my opinion, they find their true groove on the track “Fly on the Wall”, a slower motowny track with jolted synths and a repetitive driving piano which transitions into the fourth track on the LP, “Wizard Staff”, an even more laid back, pondering, funk ballad complete with saxophones and metallic vocal harmonies. This is the track that initially caught my attention.

Much of this album seems like the writing of a madman who’s been trapped in a room for too long. The vocals are layered, electric, and seem like they are muffled behind some LCD screen like a poltergeist trying to make an escape. If you’re game, take a ride on the weird with Wampire if that’s your fancy, and you’ll feel like you’ve been chewed up and spit out by a wormhole by the end of it.

Tame Impala – Live at the Beacon Theatre – 11/10/2014

by The Insomniac

“Go to sleep, you’ll be fine. Go to sleep, you’ll be fine. Go to sleep, you’ll be fine…” repeated Kevin Parker as he closed out a lengthened, slower version of Endors Toi to assure the audience it was OK to let the hypnosis of Tame Impala’s performance take over.

It was an unusually warm night for November in the Upper West Side as fans of the Aussie psych-rockers gathered to attend Tame Impala’s second sold out performance in New York before they take their performance to LA. As a band that pays so much homage to 60’s psychedelica while at the same time incorporating their own signature, vibrant grooves, the crowd storming into the theatre consisted of factions of people from all walks of life, from the older gray-hair, nostalgic for a sound that hasn’t resurfaced properly in decades, to the young, new-age Brooklyn hippie with purple hair and too many piercings looking for a solid jam.

While writing their second album, Lonerism, front man Kevin Parker, who writes and records the majority of the music, stated that he wanted to take a new direction and define a sound that would wash over the listener, as opposed to melodies that “beam” at the listener which was how described the sound of their debut LP, Innerspeaker. This was certainly achieved last night in NY as the attention of the audience was immediately arrested with Tame’s ocean of euphoric jams, warped vocals, and mind-melting visuals. The band’s screen backdrop showed warped tunnels and colors that danced and exploded according to Parker’s hand movements up and down his Rickenbacker 335 Jetglo, seemingly able to paint a vibrating whirlpool of oscillations without any effort at all. Being hypnotized for this set was no longer an option – Tame Impala got inside your head and made you feel every beat, taste every riff.

Being put under this trance made it seem like the divisions in their setlist dissolved, making it hard to really tell when one song ended and one began – without warning at one moment while playing an old uptempo headbanger from 2008, Half Full Glass of Wine, Parker broke into a dreamlike tangent with soft, repetitive, and ever amplifying melodies long enough for you to forget which song they were even playing, that is if you were able to remember where you were anymore.

Their sound, so summery, bright, and shimmering on the surface, is actually an odd juxtaposition with the meaning behind Parker’s poetry of isolation. Seeing a grand hall of hundreds of smiling, ecstatic people surrounded by friends singing “Why won’t they talk to me?” seemed a bit odd for the half-second I snapped out of my trance to be self-conscious enough to realize what I was screaming. Parker’s battle between celebrating the bliss of one’s psyche and the feeling of disconnect that comes with spending too much time in that deep headspace continues to be the driving force behind the songwriting.

Like any good psychedelica, Tame Impala’s sound is euphoric but unmistakably dark between the lines, and I think it’s this mysterious dance of yin and yang that gives birth to the full harmony that billows from their performance. You’ll feel happy, melancholy, scared even, but you’ll be thanking them for the trance and asking when you’ll get another chance to mainline pure gold through your veins.

Check out Tame Impala’s music video for Mind Mischief below:

Daedelus – You’ve Known

by The Insomniac

Oh baby… short song from Deadelus & Teebs’ album Los Angeles 6/10 released in 2010. The guy really knows how to lay down a beat and draw up a quick atmosphere – not sure where this track takes me, but I feel like it’s swanky and the drinks are expensive.

November 2014 Playlist

 

We hope you enjoyed your Halloween you damned dirty apes. Here are some tunes to sink into this month, don’t let the cold weather keep you down.

Let us know what you think – share with your friends if it made your ears smile.

We’ll be posting playlists every month on Spotify, follow “therogueape” to see what we’re listening to and other playlists we’ve created.

Enjoy.