A new demo from Twin Steps highlights everything I loved about last years “Junkie Song” – a tiny bit of thrashy rock steeped in a sneering, almost creepy take on 1960s doo-wop. It reminds me of Shannon and The Clams almost, the aftermath of the aftermath of the big party, prostitutes asleep on the floor, blood crusted around the edge of your nose, but hell, did you see your name on the lit marquee? You can check out The Re-Arranger Demo on Bandcamp.
The time has come for me to regurgitate an entire years worth of music on to the digital table so you can pick through the mess and see what I liked and possibly find something you missed or something you agree with or something you’ve never heard of and suddenly like. As usual there are probably a hundred songs that I listened to and exclaimed “this is the best song ever” and then totally forgot to post anything about and also, as always, a lot of the songs tend be picked from the latter part of the year because my drug-addled brain is unable to source anything from the front half. It’s a good mix this year and I’m proud that for almost 5 years now I’ve had the opportunity to share my thoughts on music on this amazing website with you, our amazing readers.
Happy Holidays! I can only hope you enjoy:
High Pop – Drip From The Sea Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Walking In Unison Burnt Ones – Bury Me In Smoke Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D. Manatee – Mr. Super Ty Segall – Fame/Sufferage City Jacuzzi Boys – Cool Vapours Niilo Smeds – Summer Air King Blood – End of a Primitive Bachelorette – Blanket Koko and The Sweetmeats – Will I Ever Make It To The Ocean Rangers – Xochimilco War On Drugs – Baby Missiles Behavior – Laughing Disappears – Halo The Caretaker – Tiny Gradations of Loss Led Er Est – Lonesome XOXO Ducktails – Killin’ The Vibe
The top 14 songs after the jump.
Someone Else Talking finds us harassing a musician long enough that they cough up the fascinating gems that are their current inspirations. Be it music or food or film or folly, we want to know what’s getting these people up in the morning. And because we want to know, you get to read about it.
Twin Steps floored me a few weeks back at Engine Werks and I’m still harboring anger towards the mass of cig-smoking fashionistas that clustered at the top of the stairs sipping on tall cans and discussing Miranda July when they should’ve been downstairs realizing Twin Steps are the real deal. I funneled this anger in to an email to the gentlemen of Twin Steps imploring that they let me know the momentary inspirations that drive them to produce music that borders on raucous and melodic, noise and catchiness. Drew sent me back this far-ranging response.
The gents of Twin Steps are working on a new album now. Pick up their fantastic EP Serial Parade right here.
ill try to do this without any filtering so i can look dumb/cool/lame/hip all at once.
ill start with this morning. ive been listening to this song by this girl that plays under bachelorette. songs called “holding back one” the second half of the song has these long drawn out strummed melodies with tight minimalist drums, ive been listening to it over and over. complex but still elementary and childishdreamy!! the album is good too, isolation loops. minimal electric drums/dreamy synth/great female vocals talking about trees and the future, makes me wonder why all my beach house records follow this one on itunes! conspiracy!
i try to play soccer/futbol/football as much as possible throughout the week. i play at least twice at two different fields. watch it constantly, play it online a little too much. when i think about situations in life i have to think about how it relates to a situation in a soccer match. the game is organic and molds into different things slowly and/or spontaneously. it can be beautiful or hectic. it can ruin your day and you dont wanna think about it or it can be so beautiful you wanna analyze everything thing that happened in the 90 minutes. plus scoring goals is like sex.
right now im sitting on my roof in oakland. on a three story victorian house, so i can see everything 360! san francisco, downtown oakland, berkeley hills, beers and rooftops with all your favorite songs is pretty ideal. now im listening to this song “idiocy” by this band the double off their album loose in the air. jon (our guitarist) showed me this album when we were on tour and i was sick on my deathbed (death seat in the death tour wagon). we were driving through the middle of california at about 5pm. there were these giant black blanket clouds that took away any light so it looked like it was night time and rain was pouring so hard you couldnt see anything! i was so high on nyquil and it wasnt even working. jon put on this whole record and it made things much more tolerable.
anything involving marty anderson (basically dilute and okay) both dilute records are crazy beautiful in their own way. okays “huggable dust” to me is probably the best solid love album of all time! those bands are probably some of the best things to come out of the east bay.
also great art made in the east bay (or at least partially) richard brautigan!! right now im reading dreaming of babylon, about a failed san francisco detective/shmuck who gets side tracked sitting on the bus falling asleep dreaming of baylon and he cant get enough money to buy bullets for his gun. he also has dreamy/potent poetry that can last 3 lines or 3 words. in watermelon sugar, trout fishing in america, and hawkline monster are all great novels he has done!! also was told some crazy story about how he ended it all by gathering all his shotgun rounds and sitting in the middle of his house for hours shooting his house to shit in every direction until he had one shotgun shell left that he used on himself…
tyrannosaurus rex prophets, seers, and sages the angeles of the ages is theeeee folk record of all time! i lost it and i just found it again so ive been listening to it a bunch. marc bolan is god.
i like biking around oakland looking at all the different houses and their colors. im originally from l.a. and you cant at all do shit like that!
i like making mixtapes for beautiful girls/singing songs with beautiful girls/ recording noise projects with beautiful girls
band practices with beer and fastfood drive-through visits after are something we say we dont like, but we do it so often that we secretly know its pretty tight.
i like anything that helps me escape/not think about the impending doom that is coming for everyone involved in human civilization, but at the same time i listen to NPR all day at work so i somehow like/want/need all the knowledge that helps me understand why we have ruined ourselves.
i think this is all the stuff i like right now this month. this week. this hour.
-drew, twin steps
Twin Steps “Junkie Song” blew my mind last week and this video that was tossed in to my lap last night of them playing that song underneath a bridge in Portland, OR, reminds me just why my grey matter is a splatter on some concrete wall somewhere. The amazing people over at NW film collective Into The Woods are the mad geniuses behind this video. Head on over to the website to see a fine selection of other SF bands captured in the wild, wooly Northwest.
I’m fairly shocked to hear that Twin Steps is a side project of Religious Girls, as I usually think of Religious Girls as some sort of strange mash-up between tribal music and post-punk and Twin Steps feels more like well-screamed doo-wop, pop. But have no fear, Twin Steps and there blatting taste of horn are certainly akin to the Bay Area group. Never in more evidence than at their live show, where their lead singer thrashes himself about the floor while a combination of noise and melody punches you repeatedly in the eardrum. The recorded version of “Junkie Song” is far cleaner than its live presentation, but the riff that punctuates the song over and over again is just as catchy and the screeched vocals that sit heavily atop capture at least a touch of the madness of seeing these fellows in person.
You can snatch Twin Steps Serial Parade on their Bandcamp page.