90s

SAYING GOODBYE TO THE VCR
September 27, 2016 6:02 pm

As  I’m looking over the life of the VCR, I realize that DVDs aren’t that far from become an obsolete part of the technology spectrum just like VHS tapes. The tech world is evolving expeditiously faster every year and the last VHS has been produced this past summer.

I remember those fuzzy scratchy Disney movies with fat plastic cases. The big trilogy sets of Star Wars and rewinding videos right after watching them. I was never cool enough to have the super reminder machine that did it for you, but the wishing noise of the whirling tape and finishing click takes me back 20 years.

In Japan, the Funai Electric Company has still been producing VCRs up until August of this year. This really marks an end to an era, not just of the VCR, VHS and other tape recorded products, but that we are official past the analog age and well into a digital world.

Between Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and many more, we really have no need for and physical copies of any of our media anyways, Blu-Rays and DVDs are used less and less. Digital can be taken anywhere through either hard copies , cloud storage or streaming. I’ve spent all my college years without any physical copies of any of my papers, except when the teacher asks for them. I keep it all in my accounts online.

With this shift to digital media, a lot of people still buy physical items for nostalgia and because it’s nice to be able to actually hold something with your two hands. Physical CD albums, vinyls and DVD/Blu Ray collections are becoming more popular, but unfortunately it seems pretty certain that the VHS and VCR have seen there last days and it’s time to find a digital converter for them or just throw them out. Goodbye rewinding noise, goodbye Aladdin in crappy VHS quality and good night to the age of VCR.

QUIRKY CLEVER KOOKY COOL: WEAVES
November 24, 2015 8:31 am

Toronto has produced yet another phenomenal alternative indie music act with Weaves. Although they have only been a band for less than two years, Weaves has been on the Beasts’ radar for a while now, playing our CMJ showcase at Pianos this past October, and living up to the respectable hype generated by publications such as The Gaurdian, NME, and Rolling Stone.

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The praise is well warranted as the music of Weaves is in a category of it’s own. Front woman Jasmyn Burke and friends have created a spunky brand of laid back stoner pop that has been immersed in a world of pop art. The laid back vibe brings a wave of 90’s nostalgia with it, drawing comparisons to acts such as The Thermals and fellow Canadians The New Pornographers. But Weaves has something more. They have a creative element to their sound that goes beyond music. Is it the recognizable sense of humor? The non-chalantness? Or the never before seen Individuality? I’d say it some combination of all of these.

Their debut self-titled EP is a sonic masterpiece of the lazy punk- indie rock aesthetic. The record, released through Buzz Records, was produced by Dave Newfeld, known for his work with Broken Social Scene and Super Furry Animals. Tracks like “Take A Dip” feature wailing guitars and upbeat melodies while tracks like “Buttercup” and “Do You See Past” present a loosened up and faded side of Weaves.

After their big 2014 release, Weaves shows no signs of slowing down. Their Summer was spent on tour in Europe and since their New York City CMJ appearance, they have been spotted in Iceland. Their next show will be in their hometown of Toronto at Lee’s Palace December 5th. So if you’re in the area, make sure to see Weaves make their waves.

If your like the rest of us, You will probably be reminiscing a bit this holiday weekend on how the hell you’ve gotten so old. So the Beasts suggest you take a trip out of time, perhaps back to the 90’s, throw on the Weaves EP, and go ahead, stuff your face, we’re not watching.

Potty Mouth Beasts It Out
September 29, 2015 11:01 am

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So I was walking through some weird Williamsburg streets Thursday night. It’s a pretty deserted area and there weren’t any signs of a music venue anywhere… or any sign of life as a matter of fact. As the blue dot on my google map approached the alleged destination, I hear some rock ‘n roll music echoing from a warehouse. I see a group of young girls making their way into a random door off the sidewalk attached to the warehouse. If it weren’t for those girls unabashedly loitering in the middle of no where and walking into the door to Randomland, it would have been impossible to find this venue, but I instantly fell in love with the ‘speakeasy’ vibe they had.
Pop punk band Potty Mouth owned the stage like they were regulars. They seamlessly made their way on stage and it made me nostalgic seeing them in their hip 90’s fashion. Each of them had a unique style but had a certain look to the band that no other band could imitate. Just like their look, their old-school punk rock tunes vibrated throughout room. It was kind of weird being in a room where people stood normally while listening to some fast-paced and aggressive guitar tunes, instead of creating a circle pit which is usually what I’d see at a concert like this. Nevertheless, these girls knew how to hype up crowd and showed their thrue bad-assery.

This is a band you DO NOT want to miss! A true homage to beasting it out on any stage.

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Traveling Time and Space with DMA’s
August 1, 2015 9:00 am

Do you miss the 90’s? Do you miss brushing your barbie’s hair while listening to the Spice Girls? Well DMA’s is nothing like that! In fact, they’re more likely to dropkick you in the face, steal your barbies and rip their heads off! They are, however, a radical brit-pop revival act (think Oasis with a Blur ‘Song 2’ days attitude) which happened to roll through New York City’s Mercury Lounge this past Wednesday night. The room was packed for a mid-week show, perhaps due to their recent slot at Governor’s Ball. Naturally, there was no shortage of Aussie accents in attendance. These mates from Down Under have serious swagger on stage; larger than life attitude. Somehow, it all ties in well to the sensitive guitar-driven songs they’re playing. With all the touring and festivals they’ve been doing it seems they have their set down to the T, encore and all.

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The band formed in Sydney, Australia as the bedroom project of three best friends, each a respective singer/songwriter and band member in his own right. With a stockpile of recordings, DMA’s released their single “Delete” in February of 2014 along with a home made video. The song blew up almost

imagesinstantly gaining them national recognition. Shortly after, they released their debut self titled EP through I OH YOU and hit the touring circuit. With a recent American release, and a full LP in the works, Mercury Lounge was just one stop on the boys’ International tour. Next stop, Chicago.

As a kid who spent most of the 90’s growing up in Australia, this band had me reveling in all my boyhood glory. Be sure to check out DMA’s in the near future, as they expertly archive one of the greatest periods in rock and roll history.

IF “ALICE IN WONDERFUL” STARTED A ROCK BAND, THEY WOULD SOUND LIKE THE GINGERLYS
May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Indie pop stars, Gingerlys, took over The Palisades Monday night. I had the pleasure of sitting down with front-woman Jackie Mendoza and lead guitarist Matt Richards to talk about love, life, and the pursuit of indie rock fame (their drummer Brian was unable to join as he had recently been hit by a car. “Dammit Brian you always do this” Jackie jokes on the phone).

From the moment Gingerlys’ set started off, they sounded bigger and brighter than their means. Upon first impression, the band sounds like they are being held back by the physical confines of the space. Their music has a “big” expanding quality, and very serious dance party potential.

The red/orange lighting as the backdrop at The Palisades show felt perfect. One would imagine listening to a Gingerlys record cruising down an open highway in a convertible with the top down, at sunset. The metaphor is meant to evoke feelings of release and happiness, as if Alice in Wonderland herself tried to create a rock band.

The songwriting process of Gingerlys is largely centered around guitarist, Matt Richards. His style is reminiscent of the early 90s. Matt’s background is very interesting, as the music scene on Long Island where he grew up was what you might call, limited. “I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything growing up. My rabbi microwaved my Van Halen CD in 7th grade to make an example of me. I’ll never forget how a CD looks when it’s microwaved”.

Matt presents the song ideas to the rest of the band in, more or less, their final form, where the other members will add their opinions and tweak it.“When you are writing a song, there is a certain energy only you can connect to. It’s not until you show the song to other people do you find out what’s good and what’s not so good”.

The band’s biggest challenge “is collaborating. We all come from very different places. Jackie loves electronic pop, I love anything rooted in alternative rock, Brian is a jazz musician, Colin loves stuff from New Zealand. It’s hard sitting down to write a nice little pop song, but as hard as it is, there’s a lot of creative energy and great ideas that come out from forcing a collaboration like that” Matt says.

Lead singer Jackie Mendoza says she would listen to ragtime and swing if she had to listen to one genre for the rest of her life. “I love the energy of big band, the dancing and the freedom”.

Jackie is a new edition to Gingerlys, and this influence is apparent in what she brings to the band. Though quite reserved, she has a contagious energy while on stage. She spent the set bouncing around, playing synth and delivering fun, awesome, and memorable vocal melodies.

It is hard to imagine the band without Jackie because her voice fits in so beautifully with the existing soundscape. Gingerlys is a very independent minded group themselves; they released a 7” with ShelfLife in addition to some other exciting plans in the works for this summer.

Photo cred instagram @aalaskaa

Photo cred instagram @aalaskaa

The band says they are taking some time off from their ridiculously busy live performance schedule of nearly 100 shows this year to sit down and work on 10-12 songs for a full-length album. They have two singles with Connor Hanwick of The Drums under their belts and are going back in June to finish. We’re really looking forward to their release and be sure to watch out for it on AtypicalSounds in early fall.

You can listen to their most recent EP here.

Written by Alessandra Licul