Say Hi

Say Hi | Diamonds & Donuts | 3hive.com
Say Hi | Diamonds & Donuts | 3hive.com

We are huge fans of Seattle multi-instrumentalist Eric Elbogen and his Say Hi (a.k.a. Say Hi To Your Mom) project here at 3hive headquarters. Our first SHTYM post was back in 2004 and here we are almost 16 years later sending love to his newest album, Diamonds & Donuts.

Diamonds & Donuts is 13 songs of crunchy, synth-driven goodness, taking on bold and dangerous topics like happiness, missed lovers, broken hearts and seeing dead people — all wrapped up nicely behind titles like “Tiger Unicorn”, “A MacBook Pro to a Nineties Dell” and “Windsor Knots and Ruffles” — exactly what you’d expect from a Say Hi album. You can spin “Tiger Unicorn and “Grey as a Ghost” below for a taste.

Diamonds & Donuts is available worldwide now. We also have copies available at the 3hive Record Lounge. Be sure to catch Eric and Say Hi on his living room tour that kicks off in March. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Say Hi live and in person. I will never forget how cool Eric was with my daughter and I back in 2014 when I took her to see Say Hi for her first concert.

The Gonks

The Gonks | Five Things You Didn't Know About The Gonks | 3hive.com
The Gonks | Five Things You Didn't Know About The Gonks | 3hive.com

Here are ten things I know (sort of) about the Gonks’ new album Five Things You Didn’t Know About The Gonks:

  1. They are out of San Francisco.
  2. There are 2 or 4 members?
  3. Ave Lynch plays drums and Sami Perez plays bass.
  4. Their new record has been on constant rotation since arriving at the 3hive Record Lounge.
  5. They have very witty lyrics.
  6. They play an off the wall brand of lo-fi garage-pop.
  7. Eric K. thinks they sound like Habibi – I think he’s right.
  8. The album consists of 10 songs in 16 glorious minutes.
  9. The album is released on Sonny Smith’s label Rocks In Your Head.
  10. I think Sonny Smith (unverified) sings on some of the tracks.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About The Gonks is out now via Rocks In Your Head. You can also pick it up at the 3hive Record Lounge. Five Things… is a fabulous record that needs to be heard. Enjoy a spin of “Hot Sick Vile and Fun” and “Nuns Having Fun” below.

Todd’s Favorites of 2019

2019 was another great year for music, below are my top ten favorite albums 2019:

  1. Business of Dreams – Ripe For Anarchy [Slumberland]
  2. Select Level – S/T [Wax Thématique]
  3. Pinch Points – Moving Parts [Roolette/Six Tonnes De Chair]
  4. Oh Sees – Face Stabber [Castle Face]
  5. Modern Nature – How To Live [Bella Union]
  6. Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready [Secretly Canadian]
  7. Trampoline Team – S/T [Hozac]
  8. Cold Showers – Motionless [Dais]
  9. Czarface – The Odd Czar Against Us! [Silver Age]
  10. Altin Gün – Gece [ATO]

Also for your aural pleasure (and my own), I have attached a handy-dandy playlist of some my favorite songs from 2019…

Modern Nature

Modern Nature | How To Live | 3hive.com
Modern Nature | How To Live | 3hive.com

I am a big Jack Cooper fan. Mazes, Ultimate Painting and of course, his incredible solo album. I was stoked to hear about Cooper’s new project, Modern Nature, with Will Young (Beak>), Aaron Neveu (Woods) and Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers).

On their debut album, How To Live, they combine their vast musical abilities to create 10 tracks of jazz-tinged, psychedelic rock that’s packed with layers and full of depth, which is heard throughout the entire album Check out the killer groove of “Footsteps” (below) for an example.

How To Live is available now via Bella Union. I highly recommend it.

Submotile

Submotile | Ghosts Fade on Skylines | 3hive.com
Submotile | Ghosts Fade on Skylines | 3hive.com

Dublin-based duo, Submotile, destroy speakers with their debut album Ghosts Fade on Skylines. Their brand of shoegazey noise-rock pummels your ears (in a good way) and is sure to satisfy any fans of bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Check out “Eastern Sky Sundown” below (I suggest cranking it up), it’s amazing that a band of only two can create music this loud.

Ghosts Fade on Skylines is available on CD and digitally via Submotile’s Bandcamp page. It’s a shame this hasn’t been pressed to vinyl. Someone should get on that.

Sunwatchers

Sunwatchers | Illegal Moves | 3hive.com
Sunwatchers | Illegal Moves | 3hive.com

New York quartet Sunwatchers bring their A-game on their newest LP “Illegal Moves” (out now via Trouble In Mind). Their brand of jazz-psych meets noise-rock swirls and hypnotizes and just before you’re lost in their psychedelic haze they punch you right in the mouth. Give “Beautiful Crystals” and “Greeneyed Pigmen (Get The Blade)” a spin below to see what I mean.

LAZY SALON

Lazy Salon | Boot Magna | 3hive.com

Lazy Salon | Boot Magna | 3hive.com

LAZY SALON is back with Boot Magna, his newest release of tasty, hypnotic beats. Boot Magna is split into 2 sides, side one is more uptempo and dance-friendly while side two takes things back a bit with a more chilled-out vibe. Boot Magna is made up of a combination of remixes, new tracks and previously unreleased tracks. LAZY SALON is damn good at what he does and Boot Magna is no exception. You can snag Boot Magna now via LAZY SALON’s Bandcamp page – I highly recommend that you do.

Khruangbin

Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo | 3hive.com

Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo | 3hive.com

Houston, Texas trio Khruangbin (for the phonetically challenged like me, it’s pronounced KRUNG-BIN) came together from a common love of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s Thai funk and soul music (you can listen to their “Essential Thai Funk Mixtape” here). Their new album Con Todo El Mundo is a smoking hot, groove-filled slab of funk, psych and soul. Give “Maria También” a spin below for a sample – you will not be sorry. Con Todo El Mundo is out now via Dead Oceans and I can not recommend it enough. Enjoy.

Monster Rally

Monster Rally | Flowering Jungle | 3hive.com

Monster Rally | Flowering Jungle | 3hive.com

Ted Feighan is back with his newest and strongest Monster Rally effort yet, Flowering Jungle. His cut and paste production skills are on point as he takes the listener on a groove-filled tour into his world of hip hop beats meets exotica from days past. As soon as the needle drops on track one, “Sunny Sloth”, your troubles are whisked away and replaced with warm thoughts of chilling on the beach in some far away land where Monster Rally is DJing and the Mai Tai’s are constantly flowing. Thanks for the escape, Ted!

Flowering Jungle is available now from Gold Robot Records – you need this record.

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats | Goths | 3hive.com

The Mountain Goats | Goths | 3hive.com
I wasn’t a fully committed goth in high school but I listened to my fair share of goth music, and sometimes dabbled awkwardly in goth fashion. The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle – nowadays known for his storytelling skills, as a lo-fi turned hi-fi musician and awarded novelist – spent his teen years as a “goth kid”, though I reckon we shared a similar awkwardness. So when Darnielle directs an entire album’s worth of songwriting to the genre/culture, it’s because he has enough material to work with.

Whether the Sisters of Mercy-esque strains of “Rain in Soho” or their tribute to the SoM frontman himself, “Andrew Elritch Is Moving Back to Leeds”, Darnielle and company deliver each track with a clear knowledge of and empathy for its subject matter. On “Stench of the Unburied” Darnielle sings, as someone who suffered his way through SoCal summers in all black: “Outside it’s 92 degrees/And KROQ plays Siouxsie and the Banshees”. In typical Mountain Goats fashion, it’s followed by a narrator’s wink and nod: “Ice chest full of Corona and Pineapple Crush/It’ll take 20 years for the toxins to flush.” It’s this tension that makes Darnielle’s songwriting so authentic, endearing, and surprising.

Goths avoids the trappings of a concept album. Musically it wanders, however coherently, from ominous minor key anthems to loungey new wave to flute-driven baroque pop to an entire bonus record of ambient mixes “for the all-night goths who need to reply to the dawn with total darkness.” The thread remains, but Darnielle trusts his listener to figure it out in their own way.

To me, Goths is about the sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous struggle of adolescent identity (which continues to plague some adults). The search for identity often chased by self-doubt and self-consciousness gets summed up in the album’s best line, the chorus to “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”: “I’m pretty hardcore, but I’m not that hardcore.”

Even without explanation, Goths is a great album. “We Do It Different on the West Coast” – while relevant here – would fit on any Mountain Goats record, with it’s perfectly Californian brand of self-deprecating coastal pride. It’s followed by “Unicorn Tolerance” which is just plain adorable. Do yourself a favor and listen to Goths, regardless of how much black eyeliner, white foundation, red lipstick, and hair spray you have on your person.

[Buy the deluxe edition of Goths on “vampire red” vinyl with the aforementioned bonus LP of ambient mixes in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]