Pt. 2: Why? – Alopecia
Alopecia, the second album by Yoni Wolf & company, is decidedly darker than Elephant Eyelash, but in a good way. It’s a wonderful, memorable mixture of hip-hop, indie, and psychedelic rock that is made legendary by the cryptic, tragic lyrics of Yoni Wolf.
In “Simeon’s Dilemma”, a stalker asks, “Will I look better, or will I look the same rotting in Hell?” And on “By Torpedo or Crohn’s”, Yoni ponders, “Will they map my skull and wrap my bones when my wig is gone, hmm?” These are just two examples of the depths that Wolf reaches in his lyrics. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun picking out particular lyrical lines throughout an album as I have with this one.
For fans of: cLOUDDEAD, Josiah Wolf, Modest Mouse
Best to listen to when: You’ve burned yourself out on Elephant Eyelash.
Avoid at all costs if: Don’t avoid. DON’T AVOID.
WHY? is an American hip hop and indie rock band. Originally the moniker of Berkeley, California artist Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf, WHY? became a full band before their 2005 release Elephant Eyelash with Doug McDiarmid and Matt Meldon, as well as Yoni’s older brother, Josiah Wolf.
When Matt Meldon left, the band became a three-piece, with Yoni as the primary songwriter and an additional keyboardist at live concerts. In 2008, the group added bassist Austin Brown to their lineup, making them a four-piece once again. In their arrangements, WHY? leans more toward folk and indie rock, as opposed to the more hip hop styling of their label-mates. Their lyrics also tend to be very abstract, focusing more on imagery than on any particular story.
The Teenagers – Reality Check
The Teenagers have been said to “sound like Kraftwerk doing the soundtrack to a porno film” on Reality Check. They are humorous, cheeky, and vulgar (which somehow makes a great combination!), and even at some points, mature. The opener, “Homecoming”, is a kind of misogynistic look at hooking up casually, but it’s so much fun that I don’t think many people will care. I know I don’t. The fun doesn’t end there though. “Starlett Johansson”, an obvious and awkward tribute to Scarlett Johansson, and “Make it Happen” both keep the pace up and the playfulness high.
Here’s a little fun fact about the Teenagers: The band started as a joke. They created a fake band profile on Myspace, and used fans’ comments as lyrics for their songs. I believe that to be the most awesome thing ever…just sayin’.
For fans of: Danger, Peaches, HEARTSREVOLUTION
Best to listen to when: You feel like feeling sleazy…and French.
Avoid at all costs if: You support censorship. And if you do…go away.
The Teenagers together is (vocalist) Quentin Dalafon, (guitarist/synth man) Dorian Dumont and (bassist) Michael Szpinner, have created a daydream world of enchanting melodies and engrossing narratives, as life-affirming as they are insatiably hormonal, and of course all delivered with that trademark audaciously sharp Parisian attitude. The three twenty-somethings was formed in the midst of their teenage years,When childhood pals Michael and Dorian stumbled across Quentin, one of their high school’s true eccentrics. Although both Dorian and Michael had spent their teens in and out of bands (Dorian trying his hand at pop and electronica, Michael doing the rounds on their local hardcore punk scene), it wasn’t until one boozy Christmas evening in 2005 that they finally decided to put their creative heads together.