DIY/Lo-Fi

DIY/Lo-Fi

Time: 
21:30
Band name: 
Socialskills
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/socialskillznotpillz
Venue name: 
Wonderville
   

VIDEO: “You Lose" | Magdalena Bay

photo credit: Lissyelle Laricchia 

 

L.A.-based electro indie pop duo Magdalena Bay (Mika Tenenbaum & Matthew Lewin) have released a frenetic music video for “You Lose,” the latest single from their debut album, Mercurial World.  

The band describes the track as being about “trying to be a musician and feeling like time for success is always running out. It’s definitely melodramatic, describing ourselves as aging and nearing death, but sometimes it really feels that way.”

Fully written, produced, performed, mixed and mastered by the duo, The track begins with a short loungy section, complete with VHS-detuned vaporwave synth pads that sound like the background music for some retro afterlife suburban mall, before it’s taken over by a hyper-digital soundscape of buzzy synth bass, jagged sawtooth lead lines, and sampled late 20th century video game sounds. Tenenbaum’s beyond breathy vocal manages to sound weightless, jaded and in-your-face at the same time during the verse, while during the pre-chorus, the edginess gives way to a highly melodic, more angelic tone that adds good contrast to the rest of the track. By the time the chorus comes crashing in, the musical release, with shouted vocals and full-on synth and grunge sounds, is exhilarating. 

The quickly-edited, colorful music video, meanwhile, takes on the premise of the duo looking for their lost “dog” (in reality a Pokemon-like creature), in between their binges of video gaming and performing music in front of a wall of old-school TV screens that resemble a Nam June Paik video art piece, if it were commissioned by Atari or Nintendo. It’s a subtle but biting commentary on both the retromania that much of the music scene finds itself trapped in, as well the state of near-perpetual digital adolescence that social media seems to foster, to the detriment of society at large. 

Mercurial World is scheduled to be released on October 8 via Luminelle. Gabe Hernandez

 

   

VIDEO: With “Pomba Gira,” Mia Carucci Summons Fierce Feminist Forces

photo credit: Miwah Lee

 

L.A.-based singer/songwriter/producer Mia Carucci has released their latest self-produced single, the hypnotic slow-burn “Pomba Gira,” along with an accompanying video. 

 

The track begins with a sparse but insistent Afro-Latin drum rhythm, regularly punctuated by an echoing “whoop!” that effectively creates an atmosphere of both unease and anticipation, before Carucci’s breathy, siren-like vocals inquire “what is your reflection in the ever-firing mirror of this life,” subtly referencing the titular Pomba Gira, a central figure of the Afro-Indigenous religion of Quimbanda, who represents the many and different facets of the feminine, including those who have freed themselves from the confines of sexual identity. 

 

Meanwhile, the video amps up the mystical aspects only hinted at in the track. It begins with Carucci, dressed only in a chainmail bikini, seductively dancing amid rows of votive candles in the dark, balancing themself on a rock in the middle of a roiling ocean, and performing devotional worship to Pomba Gira (played here—complete with devil horns— by previous DELI artist Star Amerasu). Throw in a python coiled around a belly-dancing Carucci toward the later parts of the video, and you have a perfect spooky-seductive track and visual to be played in the background at an upcoming Halloween party. 

 

Mia Carucci has an upcoming EP in the works, release date TBA. Gabe Hernandez

 


   

VIDEO: With “Pomba Gira,” Mia Carucci Summons Fierce Feminist Forces

L.A.-based singer/songwriter/producer Mia Carucci has released their latest self-produced single, the hypnotic slow-burn “Pomba Gira,” along with an accompanying video. 

 

The track begins with a sparse but insistent Afro-Latin drum rhythm, regularly punctuated by an echoing “whoop!” that effectively creates an atmosphere of both unease and anticipation, before Carucci’s breathy, siren-like vocals inquire “what is your reflection in the ever-firing mirror of this life,” subtly referencing the titular Pomba Gira, a central figure of the Afro-Indigenous religion of Quimbanda, who represents the many and different facets of the feminine, including those who have freed themselves from the confines of sexual identity. 

 

Meanwhile, the video amps up the mystical aspects only hinted at in the track. It begins with Carucci, dressed only in a chainmail bikini, seductively dancing amid rows of votive candles in the dark, balancing themself on a rock in the middle of a roiling ocean, and performing devotional worship to Pomba Gira (played here—complete with devil horns— by previous DELI artist Star Amerasu). Throw in a python coiled around a belly-dancing Carucci toward the later parts of the video, and you have a perfect spooky-seductive track and visual to be played in the background at an upcoming Halloween party. 

 

Mia Carucci has an upcoming EP in the works, release date TBA. Gabe Hernandez

 


   

Petite League teach old dog "New Tricks" in music video premiere

I’m not usually one to quote other critics here but since I’m feeling a little lazy, and because there’s some provocative opinions on the latest album by Petite League out there, I’ll just share a couple quick ones here. Like the quote from the Americana Highways writer who says there’s no hyperbole at all in calling Joyrider “a lo-fi Pet Sounds” or prematurely naming it “the best album of the year” because “it’s just hard to image [sic] something topping this.” Congrats with that pull quote gentlemen! And over at The Family Reviews, in describing the overall vibe of the album, another writer observed that “the dominant force on this album [is being] blissful in the moment even with the knowledge that when the high wears off the hangover is going to be psychically shattering.” Which sounds a lot like Brian Wilson while making Pet Sounds so I think we have a running theme here. 

When it comes to the song “New Tricks” off the album and it’s newly released music video, Petite League demonstrate their considerable talent for making loneliness and regret and daydreams and succeeding-against-all-the-odds sound transcendent in a low-key/lo-fi kinda way, luxuriating in sharp, sweet suffering like teasing a loose tooth with your tongue. And while I can’t help but think of Rob Gordon at the beginning of High Fidelity when he wonders aloud whether the music or the misery came first, finally you gotta say “who cares!” when you can simply bask in the winsome strains of Petite League and the heart-rending tale of an old dog trying to learn “new tricks" in the parallel realms of romance and roulette.

Now that I think about it, this song’s scrappy shaggy-dog story is straight out of a hardcore country song--talk about a genre that knows how to confront everyday forms of sadness or at least it once did--about a gambler who definitely does not know when to hold ‘em or when to fold 'em as evidenced by all-night booze and baccarat filled bender at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City spent “betting it all on the wrong dog” and returning dejectedly on the 4AM bus back to the city smelling like ashtray butts and “the bottle I was sleeping in” and then showing up on your doorstep unannounced declaring “I’ve made a terrible mistake please consider loving me like you once did” and boy does this kind of stuff pull at your heartstrings, especially given the dogged optimism of the narrator holding out hope for “one more lucky strike / one more lucky hand / one more lucky night” a lot like the tragic protagonist of nearly every movie ever made about doomed dreamers and gamblers.

And when you’re this hard up you can sometimes find a perverse succor in being a sucker, that is, in giving yourself so entirely over to something or someone so that no matter how hopeless the reality of it you at least manage to escape yourself--like our narrator drawn to pretty faces that “always drinks for free...like sugar and wine in my veins,” providing comfort to “a broken, broken man,” not unlike “the comforting heat from the warmth of a gun” or some other metaphor about being inextricably-drawn-to-what’s-worst-for-you in a way that's “hard to explain and harder to change” but hey just raise your hand if you haven’t been there before. (Yeah, I thought so!) Then if you dress up the quasi-story-song with gently shimmering Andy Summers guitar chording and bounding basslines and in-the-pocket timekeeping (courtesy of drummer Henry Schoonmaker) and blankly blissful vocals (courtesy of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Gillis Cook) all wrapped up in the warm glow of the record's lo-fi production, and you’re likely to experience a slowly spreading sense of deep contentment whatever your current circumstances in life.

And speaking of being bathed in a warm glow, the music video only amplifies this sense of womb-like comfort and warmth with the band’s members ensconced in colorful mall-walker windbreakers kind of like oversized Members Only jackets as they wander around and lounge on a city rooftop decorated with pin-striped partitions and it certainly looks like a pleasant way to spend a day--especially with all the magic tricks and money flaunting and dice playing happening up there. This warm nostalgic aesthetic is only heightened by the video being filmed on Super 8 and 16mm film by band ally and video director KD Sampaio (Good Relation Records) with the resulting visual full of artifacts and vertical hold issues evoking the hazy, sentimental vibe of unearthed home movies discovered in the attic. 

And so the moral of the story may be "why not bet all your chips and shoot for the big jackpot, perhaps followed by a joyride in the Mojave Desert, because what else have you got to lose?" or at least that's my takeaway. At worst, you’ll experience a psychically-shattering hangover and then write a great song about it like this one. (Jason Lee)