Candyflipping at the Speed of Bass

Jaw goes slipping down the drain. Strobes flashing my twitching flesh. Snares pop my legs into snipping. Bass thumps my neck into snapping.
Winding my energy up like throwing a yo-yo around the world. Now I gotta walk the dog.

These puppies get me wondering how I could work them into a 140bpm dubstep set... Too bad they all clock in at 170+ bpm...
(Guess that's the minimum tempo for melting face.)


Man The Hunter

Bringing back great song structure to the lo-fi pop gem, fellow Ann Arborite Man The Hunter has done it oh too well.  Each verse/pre-chorus/chorus/bridge/etc seems to be just as catchy as the rest of the song....so yeah, this one's a keeper.

I know it's getting chilly out here in Michigan, but if you can rough it, grab some sunglasses and a swimsuit  and take this one to the beach.

Man The Hunter - Less For You

I Don't Bother.


Tweaking Trays Presents



Gumby House.

Ann Arbor, MI.

Be there.

Interview with The Mad Conductor

View All Photos | This is the MC skeleton infected with the Venom symbiote. | THE MAD CONDUCTOR

The Mad Conductor has dabbled in shameless Zevon cops as well as the rude space rock before settling on a unique brand of hip hop, characterized by uncommon time signatures, obscure storytelling, and crisp production. Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to get in touch with the MC of MC, MC Devlin- touching base about the past, present, and future of the band.

MC Devlin- The Mad Conductor started in 2005 when I had gone to Dan’s house to record a hip hop record. I had planned on doing  a solo record and calling myself “The Ill One” and releasing some raunchy hip hop. But then the head engineer, Dan McKinney began collaborating like 50/50 on the  project so we decided to incorporate ourselves into one group. I dropped the solo album and he kind of directed me down a more mature path, lyrically. My rhymes became more structured, the ideas kept getting better, and we kept feeding off each other lyrically- so we decided to call ourselves the Mad Conductor. I forget how that happened really. I think I changed my name from The Ill One to MC Devlin because Devlin’s my middle name and I wanted MC to stand for something so I was like “Mad Conductor Devlin” and then we just called the group The Mad Conductor. Then we cut our first little demo the spring of 2005 and it hit the streets that summer and it started to spread quickly. People started to like the sound, it was something they hadn’t heard before- a psychedelic blend of reggae, hip hop, punk, and jazz. Anything we wanted to throw together. It was a studio project with just the two of us working on it, so it was really easy to put in any sound that we wanted. We dropped our first EP, self released around Christmas that year- 2005.

Tweaking- I’ve really been digging the EP you released earlier this year- Central America. What are your thoughts on it?

MC Devlin- Central America is an EP that I wrote in New Orleans- I just moved there and gave up on playing music for a while. I had been touring for years straight without a job or anything. I had to get my personal life back together so I kind of dropped out of the East Coast scene and went down into the Central Time Zone- that’s why I called the EP “Central America”. Over the course of a year I recorded about 10 demo tracks and I scrapped 6 of them, only keeping 4. The 4 that I kept were hip hop songs written in odd time signatures. Usually hip hop, 99% of the time, is done in the 4/4 time signature. I actually had never heard  a hip hop song that wasn’t in 4/4, so  it was something that I had been wanting to experiment with. So I cut some  demos, went back up to Pennsylvania and recorded the 4 songs with Brandy Sharlani on drums. It was a real treat to have him in the studio. And it was the first time that we did a record with all live drums. Usually we’d have live drummers and cut a little snippet to loop there. But this time he pretty much played the drums all the way through the track, but musically- it was all Dan McKinny doing all the production, the piano, and the synths while I did all the bass and guitars. So basically, just the 3 of us. It was nice to get together because Dan McKinny and I hadn’t recorded something together in a long time.

I don’t know how well the EP was received by our fans. It’s kind of funny because usually we have a lot of ska influence on our records-ska and reggae. But this time there was virtually no ska whatsoever, so I think that it was received better by our fans who are more hip hop-oriented. So it was more of a cult following MC record, more of an experimental album. I’ll say I like the odd time signature thing, I’ll probably be experimenting more with that in the future.

Tweaking- So if you could name only one thing, what is the biggest influence on your music?

MC Devlin- On Central America?

Tweaking- Sure, yeah.

MC Devlin- I would say the biggest influence for me on Central America was an anti-influence. Just hearing everything that was going on- you know all this corny hip hop. I can’t even call it hip hop. Just this corny rap music. Corny dance and R&B, you know everybody putting effects on their vocals, trying to make themselves sound flashy. Hearing that made me want to make something new. Something raw. Something different. So I pretty much pulled myself out of traditional thought when it comes to songwriting and did what I felt. So I guess you could say my influence was that which was detestable to me. I wanted do something completely different from that. So in other words, I made a record without the idea of selling copies, but rather with the idea of charting new territory musically.

Tweaking- So getting off the Central America topic for a minute, is there a particular hook or riff that’s been stuck in your head for the past week or so? Something that’s been resonating a lot with you lately?

MC Devlin- Well just now on my ride home, I’ve kinda been trying to write a new a rhyme to the beat of this Nice & Smooth album. Nice & Smooth is an old school hop hop group. A lot of the time, I’ll  get a record that I haven’t heard yet- a hip hop record or an LP and sit down with it for a little bit. You know, start to write lyrics for that and then you know take it over with my own music.

Tweaking- So what’s your favorite show that you’ve ever played?

MC Devlin- You know, I would like to say that I’ve always been partial to the scene in New Orleans. Back in the old days when I used play in punk bands, up until touring there with Mad Conductor. That’s why I moved here from Pennsylvania. When I’d go there, I’d see how much energy there was and how it felt physically. You know, all the kids down there was always cool, along with the other bands, and the whole scene.

The ironic thing is that when I moved there (New Orleans) I kinda stopped playing music. I think it was just because everyone around me was playing music and I was just like, you know “I gotta do my own thing”. I’ve always kinda been like that, you know? Whatever everyone else is doing, I’ll do the opposite of it.  I came from a small town in Pennsylvania where there weren’t many bands coming out of there or any bands to speak of. You know there’s a few that I dug- No Service Project. But other than that, it was weird kinda pioneering that scene. Then when I got outta there and moved to New Orleans, everybody and his brother was playing in a band, trying to get big. The whole thing, with all the demos and whatnot made me think, “you know what? I’m not really down with this rat race and I just don’t care. I’ll just do my own thing and take care of my own head.” You know, look out for number one for a little bit.

Tweaking- So back in the day you used to sing for a crack rock steady punk band, No-Cash. Do you have any resonant retrospective thoughts about that time in your life?

MC Devlin- Well, the thing about No-Cash was that I was a kid, you know? It started when I was 15- angry little punk rock kid who hated going to school and hated living at home with my family. I thought I was too good for that. I was a mean little kid and that shows in my music, I was really angry. So looking back on it, I was kind of embarrassed of it until a few years ago. When I was in the process of maturing, I’d look at No-Cash and myself back then, and I didn’t know anything. I used to preach about the government. My lyrics were real bland, you know, I didn’t really know what I was talking about. And that kind of embarrassed me. Everybody was all like “oh yeah, that’s cool” (in a goofy ass voice) but those people were all like 15 year old kids and I was just like “well, what the hell do you know? Who are you to say that band is good? I’m saying that band sucks and I was the one who was in it. But now, as I get old, I can look at that band and be like “awww little knuckleheads” (affectionately). And then I kind of look at the fans of that band the same way, you know, little kids with an upside-down flag on their shirt. I think “awwww little rascals, you’ll understand one day. You won’t be blasting No-Cash you know when you’re like 30 years old while you’re picking up a nice girl on a date. You won’t want to be listening to some song about killing your parents. You’ll want to listen to like Bob Marley and just chilling out. So that’s how I sort of look at No-Cash and the whole punk rock scene in general. I see a lot of people who are like 30 or 40 still rocking the mowhawk, tight black jeans, and all this and that, and I’m like “whatever works for them”. But I’m glad that I grew out of it and that I’m evolving constantly. I would say to each his own, but that’s not really what I want to do with the rest of my life- running around, screaming about how I hate cops. I still don’t love cops, but you know, I don’t feel the need to write 12 songs out of 14 on an LP explaining why I hate them, you know what I’m sayin?”

Tweaking- So that being said, it’s safe to say that you’re not going to play Gasoline (an old No-Cash jam) again anytime soon?

MC Devlin- (laughs) Nope. I’d feel a bit uncomfortable performing that song. It’s not who I am anymore, you know what I’m saying? It’s like the Rolling Stones being like 60 years old, 70 years old still rocking songs that they wrote when they were 20. Granted they’re probably paid a ton of money for that, but when I see them doing those songs it seems so forced. I don’t wanna get up and sing a song I wrote when I was 16 years old. It wouldn’t make sense. Same reason Operation Ivy hasn’t done a show. You don’t want to live in the past. Progress. Live in the moment- work towards the future.

Tweaking- Where do you think the Mad Conductor’s headed?

MC Devlin- Well, I’m going through some different things in my own life. To me, the Mad Conductor was always super-abstract. I would just rhyme stream of consciousness and usually it would seem like I was talking nonsense, but I always meant something by what I was saying. But I think that I would like to write a few songs that are more to the point. I’d like to write some songs that people can relate to on a personal level. I’d like to get into more topics that get into real life- in the past I would just talk about werewolves and fighting monsters. Shit like that (laughs). I would like to write songs that better explain the real thoughts that I have in my head as a man, not a pot-smoking lunatic who was running around the country.

Tweaking- Do you think you’re gonna get the Mad Conductor back together? Are there any upcoming tour plans?

MC Devlin- I really would. Music is really important to me. When I look at my life, all of my friends and all of the places that I’ve been able to go and the people that I’ve gotten to chill with have been through music. Music brought me to New Orleans. All my friends in New Orleans, I met through music. My friends out in Texas, California, England, Ireland- all these people that I’ve met have been through music. I feel like I need some time to develop myself as a person. I took so much time out on the road, non-stop playing shows on tour. Shows every night. No job. No money in the bank. I realized I needed to slow down. So I moved to New Orleans to grow as a person, but I was doing it the wrong way- drinking and getting into the party scene. I needed to slow down for a minute. So that’s when I started taking kung-fu. I went up to a kung-fu master and was like “teach me”, you know? Pretty much every day for the past year and a half I’ve been training kung-fu. I picked it up quickly. When I get into something, I devote myself 100% to it. So I wanted to spend a couple years learning kung-fu and learning how to fight. I’m trying to take care of myself and become a better person. I really feel more like a man than when I started. More confident. 

I would like to write a batch of songs more confidently and not have to be so abstract about what I’m saying. I want to come right out and say what I want to say. I would like to get a band together and do some more touring. There’s a lot of the earth that I haven’t seen. I can’t tell you when. I can’t predict the future and I won’t try because I used to try to do that and would always end up foolish when I said that I would tour in May. May came and went and I didn’t do the tour. I’m not going to do that to people anymore. I’ll just leave it up to time. Time will put me on the road in some van at some point. I can’t say when, but I know that I have to. Dan McKinny and I plan on recording some songs at the end of this summer, so hopefully we’ll get to put together a new record and do a show.


Until we're graced with the yet-to-be announced next Mad Conductor record,  be sure to check out some jams off of Central America. Some righteous jams off of Central America


Overtaken by White Light

I'm ready for things to move back into hibernation... for the basses to retract their sweaty high-ends to deep, cool, low thwashers. One day we will even catch some synth-snowflakes on our tongues. I'm excited (in a really really chill way).

The little squeaks in the intro suggest that indeed, Roommate played & recorded a real Rhodes (fuck softsynths! lol jk). The sample takes me to a hill with white sunshine and ice-encrusted trees and takes me to a better time. Pure beauty. The percussion absolutely tickles my ears.
Roommate - The Silent

Finally, Joker releases some new material. This remix demonstrates a slight departure from his earlier, more minimalist beginnings; bright synth stabs fill out the funky lead & bass lines. I would have sex to this song. I've got a feeling there's a lot more where this came from.
Die & Interface - Bright Lights feat. William Cartwright (Joker Remix)


Meet the Frownies

Twin Sister has got to be one of my favorite bands of the summer.  Their Color Your Life EP was a serious grower, and now they're rereleasing their first two EP's on Domino, and have a full length supposedly in the works too.

Enter "new music incubator" Shaking Through (a joint project from Weathervane Music and WXPN),  who asked the super-music-dude of all super-music-dudes Mark of YVYNYL to guest curate a few tracks for Shaking Through, and what do you get? -- A new Twin Sister song recorded in two days.

This one's a keeper for sure.


You heard it here first. Maybe

At least you could pirate them before most.

Two huge tracks from Dem Slackers' upcoming release.
Dem Slackers - Let's Go (Bart B More 'Lesssgo' Remix)
Dem Slackers - Swagger

BRRRRAAAATTTT!!!! (Don't drop this version in your next set, though... Definitely not a full rip... sorry :)
Armand van Helden & Steve Aoki - Brrrat! (Bart B More Remix)

Thanks, technology!

Ape-Archangels of Electrofunk: Saint Pauli

Space-funk samples, analogue basslines, glittery key arrangements, and thwopping disco beats

This is Saint Pauli. This electrohouse-funk duo's sound is both characteristically German (think the clean & cold electro sounds of Digitalism) and French (there's a healthy dose of Justice). Which is really fitting considering that they are based in both Hamburg and Paris!

Fare Soldi - Survivor (Saint Pauli Remix)
Haezer - WTFIH (Saint Pauli Remix)
Saint Pauli - I Need Rhythm

They do wear monkey masks when playing live, though unfortunately I don't think they actually shred metal guitars.


Halloween Bass

Y'all know it's gettin spooky in here. Raves across the country will be slightly seasoned with some ghoulish-zest. What's not to love?

I love how subgenres in dance music feed off each other. They cannibalize parts of other subgenres that sound badass. You'll hear the 'anger-step' bassline in this puppy pretty straight up.
Figure - The Phantom (Original Mix) by Figure

Although it's just a clip clocking in at only 1:24, you can see how epic Clouds can get.
Mauful Sir by thisisclouds

Bizarre Disco shit. I feel like dancing with every part of my body.
Attack Yourself! - Long Time No See (Demo Version) by Attack Yourself!


Hey Hey Sunshine

So if you remember a few months back we posted about UK ambient/beat music guru Hypermagic's bandcamp EP, Tangerine Scene. Well now they're back at it again with another 3-track release that definitely keeps them grounded in the same Eno roots, but constantly moving forward into a more beat driven direction as well.

Hey Hey Sunshine finds itself almost in a Mount Kimbie "post-dubstep" world, while The Dogs is a sample based ethereal jam that crunches just as hard as it it floats...if that makes any sense.

Download the full release for free via their bandcamp.

Hypermagic - Hey Hey Sunshine
Hypermagic - The Dogs


Toys That Kill

Iggy and Watt Stooge sportin the TTK shirt in aussie

Oh shit, is it still '79 somewhere?

Toys That Kill make murder/destruction/dread seem fun again. They never really stopped tearing up basements. Covered in freshly-doused PBR. Still cold.

Check out some tracks off their recent split with Grabass Charlestons on No Idea.

Toys That Kill - Pliers
Toys That Kill - I'm Foaming

+| HEX MEX |+

thanks bigstereo. Crazy installation from Demon Babies I don't think I'll be sleeping for a couple of days.


Don't Knock it 'til Ya Try it!

If you've heard of John Fruscianti, it's probably due to his involvement with the Red Hot Chili Peps. Personally, I had known that he made solo music (pretty sure it's why he chose to abandon working with the Peps). I heard it was good (and I didn't believe it) 'til my 'lil cuz told me to check out the song 'Murderers.' Hearing is believing.

John Frusciante - Murderers
John Frusciante - Ramparts

(These tracks are from his 2001 release, To Record Only Water for 10 Days.)

You probably knew his guitarwork was amazing. He's been voted 'world's best guitarist' a million times (read his wiki, bra). But outside the pop/funk/punk/rock scope--in the realm of lofi--he should be regarded at least as some sort of lesser angel... Neutral Milk can be Jesus...

Now IDK what he's doing these days. Hopefully it's good. I don't know if I care. Those two songs are enough to tide over my lofi-binge for now. But hey, everyone's saying the 90's are comin' back, and I love the Peps. Maybe JFru is in for a rebirth into post-chillwave?


I doubt it, but wouldn't it be fucking awesome?

Slow Century- Only (Coma Cinema Remix)

Thought I'd share a fresh take on a song that I love.

Slow Century takes us into expansive caves where words and limbs retreat into the static fog. Stuck somewhere within.

Slow Century - Only (Coma Cinema Remix)
Coma Cinema - Only


Heavy Hawaii

Fuuuck am I stoked or what!?

I thought summer was over, but maybe there is a land beyond Michigan. A land where surf guitars still glisten as they get washed in reverb. A land where dreamy girls lounge around your bum ass friends on the beach. A land that you can only reach through the back of your mind. I'm not ready for the leaves. I want to go back to Heavy Hawaii.

Their debut, HH comes out September 28th on Art Fag. Check out the recently premiered Teen Angel and some lo-fi versionage.

Heavy Hawaii - Teen Angel
Heavy Hawaii - Teen Angel (lo-fi demo)
Heavy Hawaii - Sleeping Bag (lo-fi demo)


/ / / Dahga Bloom \ \ \

Down the rabbit hole. Broken through into a jagged world of sounds and buzz. Another ear. Bending strings into the abyss. Feedback crying back through a prism of color. Your least favorite indie rock band covering your favorite psych-rock band's greatest hits with a headful of acid. Tearing apart melodies and watching them fall, as shards, out of sight. Pulsating sounds intertwined endless rhythms. Time travelling via salvia. Guitars shriek and slide. You can't touch the ground.

I fucking LOVE this album. Dahga Bloom's self-titled. Get the full length from Big Cartel. See them on the west coast. Check these nugs.

Dahga Bloom - Golden Sky
Dahga Bloom - M.I.A

Cloud Nothings// Kevin Greenspon Split

Just in from Bridgetown Records (thanks, Kevin!) It's a walk down a concrete sidewalk as the sun reflects off of the corner of your sunglasses. A bounce in your step. You pass convenience stores, abandon fronts, and maybe even a basement space. All alone, somewhere between shoegaze and new wave.

Cloud Nothings - I Apologize

Also check out Kevin Greenspon's side of the split on Bridgetown Records.

Kevin Greenspon - Carpool Pepsi


THE BIRd DAY - Collect Vibrations

Sunny/crunchy/falsetto/explode-in-ur-pants/funky/dance-pop goodness.  No..... Greatness.

THE BIRd DAY comes from Buffalo, NY - these guys have been on my radar ever since hearing their first free DL track, Thirsty, off their website.  I initially heard of them from my buddies in Holy Spirits (who by the way will be playing live with THE BIRd DAY at Glasslands Gallery in NYC tomorrow night -- if you're in the area, I can't recommend going to this show enough)

A few more singles and a full length (via mediafire (via Dead As Digital)) later, I'm fully hooked.  These guys really know what they're doing, and have a sense for catchy falsetto melodies that I haven't heard since Hissing Fauna era of Montreal.  Ganted, THE BIRd DAY isn't nearly as spastic as Kevin Barnes, but they surely make up for it with musical hooks that well deserve their repeated chorus structure.

THE BIRd DAY - Thirsty
THE BIRd DAY - Gonna Beg You
THE BIRd DAY - Space Feeling

Download THE BIRd DAY's debut full length, Collect Vibrations