Up until recently, it had been a while since we’d heard from the fuzz-addled London punk trio Male Bonding. Two of the band’s members had kept busy releasing some great singles with their Primitive Parts side project, and that was enough to make me wonder whether Male Bonding were winding down. But now Male Bonding are once again up to things. Last week, Male Bonding dropped a context-free new song called “A Kick To The Face.” Today, they’ve got another one, a bleary sprint called “Falling.” It is decidedly not a HAIM cover. Give it a listen below.
Tonight, The Colbert Report will air its final episode, ending a nine-year run that’s made comedy history. Over the years, the former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has been such a frequent guest that the show has made a running joke out of it. (Colbert, upset about R.E.M.’s 2011 breakup, put Stipe in his permanent collection, and he’d chime in for a song or a joke from time to time.) On his second-to-last episode last night, Colbert ran a sketch about holding a garage sale where he sold all the useless crap he’d accumulated on the show over the years. One such piece of useless crap was Michael Stipe, and Colbert tried selling him for 25 cents. Given that we never saw a Stipe sale go down, Colbert either sold Stipe or stuffed him into a garbage bag at the end of the day. Watch the video below.
Conan O’Brien, with his pompadour and his longtime Jack White homeboy status, has always come across as something of a garage rock head. So I imagine he was amped when garage snot-lord King Tuff was the musical guest on his show last night. On the show, King Tuff and his band blazed their way through “Eyes Of The Muse,” the single from their new Black Moon Spell album. They also wore some commendably ridiculous thrift-score winter clothes. Conan liked it so much that he apparently actually scared the band with how quickly he bounded out. Check out the performance below.
Gunplay’s debut studio album has been perpetually in limbo for a few years now, but it looks like it could finally be getting a release. After a few false starts and a handful of mixtapes, including this year’s self-titled, Living Legend is scheduled to come out early next year. “Scuffed Timbs” is a new track from it and features Maybach labelmate Rick Ross, whose album the rapper first made a splash on all the way back in 2012. Ross takes the backseat on this track, letting Gunplay navigate a squirmy beat courtesy of Timbaland. Listen below.
Yep, it’s that time of year again when holiday music becomes more or less inescapable. Most of it may be cloying and overplayed, but when it’s mixed with a healthy dose of sadness and/or humor, the results can be excellent. Prolific Vancouver multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Krgovich — the man behind “Along The PCH On Oscar Night,” one of our 70 Favorite Songs Of 2014 — has gone the latter route, dusting off his punny recurring holiday alias Chris Mastheim (Get it? Get it?) for the release of a free EP-length compilation of holiday standards. While the songs themselves are familiar and the lyrics remain unchanged, Krgovich runs the music through a heavy filter of his own particular brand of loungey soft-rock, synth-pop decadence before spitting it back out. The result is a comical dissonance between the po-faced lyrics and the gloriously shimmering Barry White meets the Human League soundtrack behind them. Listen to “Children Go Where I Send Thee” below.
If you’ve ever spent too long speaking uninterrupted — teaching a class, say, or reading aloud to your kids — you’ve probably noticed your voice fraying and decaying, reducing itself to a husk more quickly than you might’ve thought possible. That zombie version of your own voice — grainy, creaking, drained of vitality — does not make you want to keep speaking. You have to think of a reason to stop talking, or you have to put your head down and just muscle through it. It’s not easy. But Kevin Gates raps like that. A couple of times on the new Luca Brasi 2 mixtape, Gates delivers technically fluid, emotive intense verses in a voice that sounds like his vocal chords have been rolling around in a vat of corrosive acid for a few hours. Consider, for example, the first verse of “John Gotti,” the tape’s third track. Gates delivers the whole first verse like it’s the middle of the night and he’s just woken up from an exhausting dream. But he gets through it, and he thrives. Rapping when your voice is like that has to be more difficult than doing it when your voice is at its healthiest, but it somehow adds to the urgency and intensity of Gates’ already-urgent-and-intense cadences. And as the verse draws to a close, he lurches into the weirdly perfect bluesy singing voice that he uses for hooks so often. Gates presumably recorded the verse and the chorus at different times, but the effect is that he’s shaken off the cloud that’s been hanging over his soul. And that’s Kevin Gates: The rare rapper who can deploy a sore throat like it’s a special effect.
Last month, Kitty released her Frostbite EP, and today she’s sharing a video for the stand-out track “Second Life.” The video, directed by the production company Many Hearts (the team of Jesse Gouldsbury and Johnny Weiss), stars the Brooklyn-based producer Maxo playing a Kitty-themed video game. It’s an impressive multimedia project that follows the rapper-turned-singer’s lovelorn narrative. Watch below.
When Mike Tyson was 20 years old, he became the youngest boxer ever to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles. He was also an idiot at that age, as he made sure to tell Earl Sweatshirt repeatedly when Earl, who is currently 20, interviewed Tyson for Citizens Of Humanity. Their conversation touches on each man’s personal story as well as much bigger topics such as world history, sex, war, and spirituality. Tyson takes charge early on and ends up learning a lot about Odd Future, though Earl does fit some good questions in, particularly the one at the end about what age Tyson stopped being happy. It’s a fascinating chat and well worth your time, so read the whole thing here.