Tag Archive: “Sub Pop”

The One That’s Like Inception

On this episode: Luke starts a nasty rumor about beloved Canadian Recording artist Drake, Brian can’t stop talking about Chris Gethard, there’s a segment inside of a segment inside of a segment, Luke and Brian talk about Zelda, Brian can’t stop talking about Idris Elba, Brian swears for the first time ever on the podcast and Luke needs a neckbrace after head banging too hard to all of Brian’s songs.

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One That’s Like Inception

Hiccup – Lady MacBeth and Miss Havisham from Imaginary Enemies out March 24th on Father/Daughter Records

Fleet Foxes – Third of May / Odaigahara from Crack Up out June 16th on

Real Life Buildings – Tare from Significant Weather out April 21st on Lauren Records

Spiral Stairs – Dance (Cry Wolf) from Doris and the Daggers out March 24th on Nine Mile Records

Downtown Boys – Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas) out now on Sub Pop

No Vacation – Mind Fields from their upcoming album due in June on Topshelf Records

B Boys – Energy from Dada out May 19th on Captured Tracks

PWR BTTM – Big Beautiful Day from Pageant out May 12th on Polyvinyl

When the Afghan Whigs speak, everyone listens. Greg Dulli went on Twitter and referenced a new album. It’s been 4 years since the group comeback release in the form of 2014’s Do The Beast, but today everyone knows the band’s new album, In Spades, is due out May 5 on Sub Pop Records. What is it that we should expect? Obviously more clever songwriting with its signature sound. The Afghan Whigs have cultivated a style all its own since the release of the group’s eponymous debut. This time around the album is produced by singer Greg Dulli himself, and it’s great to see guitarist Dave Rosser featured contributor while dealing with inoperable colon cancer.

The Afghan Whigs shared a new video for the track “Demon In Profile,” which stars none other than that Har Mar Superstar himself Sean Matthew Tillmann taking the lead.


The Afghan Whigs – In Spades Tracklisting:
1. “Birdland”
2. “Arabian Heights”
3. “Demon in Profile”
4. “Toy Automatic”
5. “Oriole”
6. “Copernicus”
7. “The Spell”
8. “Light as a Feather”
9. “I Got Lost”
10. “Into the Floor”


The One With Great Storytellers

On this episode of Best Song Ever, Brian introduces a new segment that allows him to get some things off of his chest, Luke and Brian discuss whether or not nerds need to know more about sports, Luke defends shy white boys from Brian and Brian dips into the past and sings some N’Sync.  Also, there are eight incredible songs and some interesting discussions on hope and fear in politics and how music can bridge the gap between people who don’t see eye to eye.

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One With Great Storytellers

Jens Lekman – “What’s That Perfume That You Wear” from Life Will See You Now out February 17th on Secretly Canadian

Fred Thomas – “Mallwalkers” from Changer out January 27th on Polyvinyl Records

Craig Finn – “Preludes” from We All Want the Same Things out March 24th on Partisan Records

Austra – “Utopia” from Future Politics out January 20th on Domino Recording Company

Brandon Can’t Dance – “Smoke & Drive Around” from Graveyard of Good Times out now on Lucky Number Records

Porter Ray – “Sacred Geometry [Constellation Mix]” feat Palaceer, Shabazz Palaces and Cashtro from Watercolor out March 10th on Sub Pop Records

Tall Tall Trees – “Backroads” from Freedays out February 17th on Joyful Noise Recordings

Priests – “Nothing Feels Natural” from Nothing Feels Natural out January 27th on Sister Polygon Records

It’s December 1st and what better way to kick off the holidays than with the new song by Low, “Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)”. Mimi Parker’s vocals are souring here above all else and the beauty is captivating.

The Song comes with a short message from the band:

“To friends who have moved away and friends who have passed on this year. To one and all, especially those who are alone, we wish you a Merry Christmas and new hope for a new year. May we all find ways to lift each other up.”

Well said…


The Helio Sequence have scheduled fall 2016 tour dates in support of its self-titled sixth effort, which is available now from Sub Pop. The trek begins October 7 in Ashland, OR at The Brickroom and ends October 23 in Portland, OR at Revolution Hall. The tour includes stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Boulder, and Salt Lake City. Please find a current list of tour dates below.

Oct. 07 – Ashland, OR – The Brickroom
Oct. 08 – Bend, OR – Crow’s Feet Commons
Oct. 09 – San Francisco, CA – Independent
Oct. 11 – Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s
Oct. 12 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer
Oct. 13 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
Oct. 14 – San Diego, CA – Hideout
Oct. 15 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
Oct. 17 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
Oct. 18 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
Oct. 19 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up
Oct. 20 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar
Oct. 21 – Missoula, MT – Monks
Oct. 22 – Boise, ID – The Olympic
Oct. 23 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall


LVL UP have shared a video for “The Closing Door,” the latest from their highly anticipated third album and first for Sub Pop, Return To Love. NPR premiered the video today, which was directed and produced by Rob Kolodny for House of Nod.

The band has also shared the full album stream for Return To Love, out tomorrow on Sub Pop. The Mike Ditrio-produced album showcases the band’s ability to write incredibly understated indie-pop classics.

LVL UP are currently on a full U.S. tour that includes a Record Release show at Market Hotel in Brooklyn, NY and dates with Bear vs Shark, Alex G and Eskimeaux. Details below.

Tour Dates:

9/22 – Burlington, VT @ Arts Riot ~

9/23 – Durham, NH @ University of New Hampshire

9/24 – New York, NY @ Market Hotel %

9/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA

9/28 – New Haven, CT @ Bar

9/29 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^

9/30 – Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston

10/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Dagger

10/14 – Missoula, MT @ Palace Lounge

10/15 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux

10/16 – Olympia, WA @ Track House

10/17 – Seattle, WA @ The Black Lodge

10/18 – Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe

10/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill ^

10/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill ^

10/22 – Pomona, CA @ VLHS

10/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex ^

10/24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge

10/26 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive

10/28 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop

10/29 – Gambier, OH @ Kenyon College

10/30 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar *

11/1 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt *

11/2 – Birmingham @ The Syndicate Lounge *

11/3 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia *

11/4 – Austin, TX @ TBA

11/5 – San Antonio, TX @ The Paper Tiger

11/6 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links *

11/8 – Kansas City @ Davey’s Upstairs *

11/9 – Omaha, NE @ Milk Run *

11/10 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency *

11/11 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean *

11/12 – Lansing, MI @ The Blind Pig *


~ w/ Eskimeaux

% Record Release Show w/ Ovlov, Forth Wanderers and Vagabon

^ w/ Bear Vs Shark

* w/ Alex G and Brandon Can’t Dance

Welcome to Future Sounds! Every Wednesday Ghettoblaster brings you a handful of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears. Below you’ll find songs that really stand out as essential listening. So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.

Mass Gothic – “A Run”

Mass Gothic, the duo of Hooray for Earth’s Noel Heroux and Zambri’s Jessica Zambri, have already released a stellar self-titled debut album this year on Sub Pop. They are back with a new EP titled Sup Goth on 8/5 via Sub Pop again.  “A Run” is the lead single from the EP and finds Mass Gothic branching out in new directions.  The song sounds like an awesome mixture between Animal Collective at their poppiest and Suicide at their darkest.  Heavy synths mix with fractured drums and a very Panda Bear-esque vocal performance.  “A Run” is gloomy and aggressive, yet soft and incredibly catchy.  It is a very dense track, revealing more of itself on each successive listen.  Mass Gothic seem to be really coming into their own and carving out a distinctive sound, which is really exciting for the rest of us.

Space Mountain – “Never Lonely” feat. Ava Trilling

Cole Kinsler records singer-songwriter music under the name Space Mountain and has been consistently putting out new music since 2013. “Never Lonely” is the first taste we are getting from his next full length album, Big Sky, which comes out 8/26 on Dust Etc.  Ava Trilling, from the band Forth Wanderers, takes over the lead vocal throughout the song, which tells the story of a lonely housewife as she waits around for her husband to return.  It’s a bit gloomy, but the somewhat country inspired music helps it not to be a total bummer.  Kinsler shows up towards the end of his song with his signature deep, deadpan vocals adding even more depth to the song.  Kinsler is somewhat reminiscent of Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields with a hint of Stephen Malkmus as well.  It’s a really solid single, which inspires excitement for the upcoming album.

Kaye – “UUU”

Charlene Kaye is a singer-songwriter known primarily for being the frontwoman of San Fermin. Her alter-ego Kaye finds her in much different sonic territory, which is hugely rewarding for the listeners based on her fantastic new single “UUU.”  This single is the first off of her upcoming EP titled Honey, which is coming out on 8/19.  She describes writing this song as a genre experiment, saying: “When I wrote UUU I was listening to a lot of 90s R&B … That summer, ‘Call Me Maybe’ was on rotation constantly and I was obsessed with it.”  Kaye wanted to see if she could create a similar sound, and she has largely succeeded with “UUU.”  This is a straight up awesome pop song with classic structure, great music and a wonderful vocal performance.  Plus there’s a guitar solo!  Press play and crank this one up.

ESP Ohio – “Royal Cyclopean”

Guided By Voices nation received great news, which came two-fold. First of all, Doug Gillard is rejoining Guided By Voices, and secondly, him and Robert Pollard have started making music under the name ESP Ohio as well.  The first taste of this new project is the single “Royal Cyclopean,” which is coming out as a single on 10/21 on Rockathon Records.  It’s a great song with fantastic sounding electric guitar, some triumphant horns and strange poetic lyrics sung to perfection in that distinctive Robert Pollard.  It blazes along at only two and a half minutes and ends abruptly, leaving the listener wanting more.  Sound familiar?  If you are a fan of Guided By Voices then this song will definitely be right up your alley, and if you haven’t been initiated yet, this is a great jumping off point to show what makes the Gillard-Pollard combination so noteworthy.

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week.  Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday June 10th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Leapling – Suspended Animation (Exploding In Sound)


The sophomore album of Brooklyn-based quartet, Leapling, is a dynamic blend of rock genres forming a fresh yet familiar sound. While the record is primarily guitar-driven power pop, the band works in orchestral elements, post-punk experimentation, and components of 90’s indie rock reminiscent of Pavement and Belle & Sebastian. This is an album about learning to “accept your limitations,” while staying true to yourself and your ambitions. Lead by Dan Arnes’ gentle yet powerful vocals, the record is technically intricate, yet appears effortlessly catchy. Great music transports it’s listener to a different time and place, and Suspended Animation accomplishes that flawlessly.


Band Of Horses – Why Are You Ok (Interscope)


The indie rock veterans’ fifth record is their best work since 2008’s Infinite Arms and one of the best guitar records of the year. Sometimes this band is stereotyped as being boring or depressing, but that claim cannot be made about this record. Why Are You Ok is full of new life and energy, with poppy guitar licks, and it’s fair share of intimate and engaging ballads. This record has an air of rebirth to it, with lyrics about moving forward while trying to accept, “the dark times of the past.” Whether you want a driving summer anthem or a pensive retrospective, this album has got you covered.


The Gotobeds – Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic (Sub Pop)


You can tell this band is a little quirky with an album title that parodies The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magic. The second release of the Pittsburgh punk band is a bright, melodic rock record, with the perfect blend of goofiness and intelligence. With clever lyrics that don’t take themselves too seriously, songs go unexpected places and keep the listener constantly captivated. This is an album that is hard to turn off as each song sparks new interest.


Garbage – Strange Little Birds (Stunvolume)


The sixth album from Garbage is a departure from the sound they’re known for. While there are some energetic rock tunes, the album is intentionally the bands darkest and deepest work to date. With melancholy tracks about love and desire, with the occasional sliver of light and optimism spilling in. Distorted electronic elements blend seamlessly with their industrial rock style, adding to the eerie environment of the record. The band stays true to their 90’s heritage without coming across as dated. We are in the age of reboots and reunions, and this album is a perfect example of artists from the past finding new ways to remain fresh and relevant.

Other notable albums:

Throws – Throws

Diarrhea Planet – Turn To Gold

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 29th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers)

Aesop Rock never intended to be a rap artist when he began making beats in his bedroom somewhere near 20 years ago, it was just a hobby to pass the time.  His true passions were creating art in a different form, mainly by drawing and painting.  Yet, here we are, a couple decades and several classic albums later, with another Aesop Rock album.  It has been four years since his last album, and a lot has happened in that time, culminating in Aesop leaving his home in San Francisco and moving into a barn in the woods, where he would begin working on The Impossible Kid.  The past four years has found Aesop Rock collaborating a lot with other people for not strictly his own work.  For the new album he decided to take total control.  There are no guest rappers, singers or producers, this is truly a singular voice saying what he wants to say.  The Impossible Kid is the most personal record Aesop has made, delving into dealing with depression and attempting to mend strained family relationships, while also focusing on mundane aspects of everyday life with fantastic surrealistic wordplay.  Not only is The Impossible Kid Aesop Rock’s most personal album it is also one of his strongest outputs yet.  Aesop Rock’s production is mostly post-apocalyptic boom bap, murky and somewhat mechanical with a strong breakbeat.  There are some variances on that theme, but overall the production is solid and complements the vocal performance perfectly.  Hearing that Aesop Rock was a drawer and painter before his hobby of hip hop took off is not a big surprise.  He brings an artistic approach to his version of hip hop, and paints vivid pictures with his lyricism instead of paints or paper.  The soul of the artist never left Aesop Rock, he simply changed canvases.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (ATO Records)

Nonagon Infinity is being billed as the “world’s first infinitely looping album,” which at first sounds like some sort of strictly promotional technique.  Yet, despite all that could go wrong with an album that loops over on itself, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard pull something truly original and fresh off and deliver an incredibly solid album in the process.  Nonagon Infinity starts in the middle of something already in progress and ends abruptly out of nowhere and if you put the album on repeat it will seamlessly continue playing in a stream of never-ending chugging metal music.  This is like Mad Max: Fury Road in album form, all pedal to the floor car chase that somehow produces an emotional, wonderful and truly original piece of art in the process.  Overall this is riff heavy metal music, yet the more you listen the more diversity you find in the music: there are recurring riffs that could act as musical themes throughout and Eastern influences give way to some psychedelic shifts.  King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have packed a ton of great music over the course of just 41 minutes, or is it 82 or infinity?

Pity Sex – White Hot Moon (Run for Cover)

White Hot Moon is an emotional ride, dealing with love and loss with harshness and beauty.  Ann Arbor band Pity Sex make shoegaze music that also reads as pop punk.  These are catchy songs with walls of heavily distorted guitars, sung by a tandem of male and female vocalists.  The male and female vocal dynamic works especially well with Pity Sex as Brennan Greaves performance is low and monotone, which plays off of Britty Drake’s higher and more expressive vocals. Thematically, the album covers the terrain of being in love and also what it’s like to lose those people that you love.  Overall, this is a loud and catchy album, which covers universal territory we can all relate to.

Freeway – Free Will (Babygrande Records)

Freeway rips and roars his way through Free Will, mixing his aggressive rapping with huge beats to result in one of the most fun hip hop albums of the year. Freeway’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of Ghostface Killah circa Fishscale in the best possible way.  Free Will features production from S. Frank, Scholito, L.E.S, Money Alwayz, Girl Talk and Tryfe, resulting in a varied yet cohesive set of hard hitting bangers, which complements Freeway’s intense vocals well.  Freeway summed up his new album perfectly in an interview with XXL: “I feel real good about the project. I feel like it’s probably my best album to date. I put a lot into it and I was in a good space when I recorded it. This project, the fucking beats are incredible, the energy is incredible.  Free Will sounds and feels like where I’m supposed to be.”

Other Noteworthy Releases


Chuck Inglish and Blended Babies – Ev Zepplin (BBMG)


Kyle Craft – Dolls of Highland (Sub Pop)

Welcome to Future Sounds vol. 4!

Every other week, Ghettoblaster brings you a playlist of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears.  Below you’ll find the entire playlist via Spotify as well as Playlist Highlights, which are songs that really stand out as essential listening.  So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.

Playlist Highlights

Summer Cannibals – “Full of It”

Summer Cannibals create straight up loud, lovely rock music. “Full of It” finds the band operating in full gear with the pedal to floor in all areas.  The guitars ring with loud punk riffs and the bass gets into a great groove with the absolutely stunning drums.  Seriously, listen to the drumming in this song.  Summer Cannibals is currently on tour with The Thermals, who are featured in the current issue of Ghettoblaster, and it’s easy to see why they were chosen.  Turn this song way up and revel in the perfect loud beauty of it.  Full Of It is out 5/27 via Kill Rock Stars.


case/lang/veirs – “Best Kept Secret”

Neko Case, K.D. Lang and Laura Veirs have combined forces and are creating music as a truly super super-group named case/lang/veirs. “Best Kept Secret” begins with magnificent strings, which quickly give way to a great straightforward melody and is eventually met by some of the best harmonies and background vocals around.  These are very well established artists successfully creating exciting and stellar art, which should inspire great anticipation for their forthcoming album.  case/lang/veirs is out 6/17/16 on Anti-.


Goat – “I Sing in Silence”

Goat is a Swedish hippy folk band who performs in giant wooden masks and just so happens to make beautiful earthy songs. The guitars strum in a lovely manner, the woodwinds flourish, and the melody lilts along.  All of these elements could combine into an over the top hippy folk song, but Goat knows how to steer away from this possibility and produce a truly enjoyable song.  “I Sing In Silence” b/w “The Snake Of Addis Ababa” is out 5/27 on Sub Pop.

Moses Sumney – “Everlasting Sigh”

In “Everlasting Sigh” Moses Sumney’s vocal performance can only be described as virtuosic. Sumney floats through this beautiful song, his vocal layers piling on top of one another until the listener is overtaken by harmonies galore in a stunning crescendo.  The music is a hybrid of folk and electronic pop with a few dashes of African inspired rhythms thrown in for good measure.  This is seriously a special song that needs to be heard to be believed.  No official word on a proper debut album yet, but the rumor is there will be one later in the year.


Pumarosa – “Cecile”

“In media res” is the literary term for when a narrative begins in the middle of some crucial part of the action of a story and just so happens to perfectly describe how “Cecile” begins. The song opens in a somewhat chaotic manner and eventually slows itself down to a nice 80s inspired danceable pop groove.  There are hints of New Order here and there over the course of the song and when it finally breaks back down into chaos again there are shades of Thom Yorke in the vocal performance.  This is only the second song that Pumarosa has released and is hopefully an indication of great things to come.  Cecile is out 5/8 on Chess Club.


King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “People Vultures”

“People Vultures” is the newest track from the aptly and insanely named King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. This song is full of guitar riffs and pounding propulsive drumming and is really a great song to listen to for a jolt of energy.  It just keeps getting louder and more intense throughout.  “People Vultures” has a somewhat Black Sabbath vibe going on in the best possible way.  King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s new album Nonagon Infinity is out 4/29 on ATO.

Full Playlist