New music is good for Arts DEVO

Kendrick Lamar, “i”

Kendrick Lamar, “i”

This is some new shit Anyone who complains about music “these days” is out of their freaking minds. First, some of the greats are still making great music. Thurston Moore has a new album with a new post-Sonic Youth band that is nearly as fun as Sonic Youth, and Sleater-Kinney has announced that a new album, New Love, is coming Jan. 20.

Solar Estates, <i>The Quiet Season</i>

Second, since the Internet Borged into my life, I get more recommendations for good new songs than I can keep up with. The latest being the excellent just-released single from Kendrick Lamar (recommended by Facebook fairies) simply titled “i”—an instantly infectious, funky (thanks, in part, to a sample from the Isley Brothers’ “That Lady”) self-affirming jam.

Next on my very-recent-faves list are two from the garage: L.A. riff-rockers Meatbodies, presented to me by former CN&R Arts Editor (and Arts DEVO BFFF) Mark Lore. Seek out “Tremmors,” and shake at the feet of the huge, fuzzed-out noise monster. Also, Pittsburgh indie-punkers The Gotobeds (courtesy of AD BFFF no. 2, Red Bluff Phil), and their hectic fist-pumper, “New York is Alright (If You Like Sex and Phones).”

Dr. Luna

But, best of all would have to be “O’Clock,” by Australia’s ScotDrakula, a most perfect slice of snappy noisy fun sent my way by the master of new-music recommendations, and AD BFFF no. 3, Conrad Nystrom. It’s seriously perfect. Well, more perfect than most things you’ll hear this year.

Oh! I see what they did French Reform didn’t break up. They just changed the band name to Solar Estates. Sneaky jerks! Yes, it turns out that frontman Aric Jeffries has been making music with some of his old French Reform mates—Phil Anker and Nik Burman—as well as his fiancé, Ashley Penning, in this “new” crew. In fact, they just released their first recording—The Quiet Season—a five-song EP ( that is a less-frenetic, somewhat-quieter version of what us French Reformers were used to. Part of the new sound is due to the fact that guitars have, for the most part, been traded in for synths and samples. While it may be different and a little subdued, it’s still rad and danceable and pretty much perfect, blending everything from crunchy hip-hop beats and synth-washed chillwave to quieter electronic ambience and hand-clapping indie rock. Regarding the latter, “Repetition” is my anti-depressant jam right now—running in place on repeat. Hear the live version Saturday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., at 1078 Gallery.

What’s up, Dr.? And while I’m talking about new recordings, I have to give a long-overdue shout out to local alt-rockers Dr. Luna. In May, the four-piece, led by outspoken local musical impresario Rachelle DeBelle, released Riot of Comprehension, a dramatic and impressively bombastic six-song album of crunchy rawk. Not content to sit and wait for shit to happen, DeBelle and crew have busied themselves by hitting the road since the release to tour throughout the West and Southwest, and they’ll continue to rock into the holidays with couple of California tour stops with Sac rockers Fallrise, a DeBelle-produced gig at the Blue Lamp in Sac, and even a couple of acoustic gigs up in Seattle. Look for a new album in early 2015. Visit