I wrote most of this post about Son Lux drummer Ian Chang’s 2017 solo EP while sitting in a dentist’s office last summer, waiting for the local anesthesia to kick in before getting a filling put in. Here I am, sitting in the same dentist’s office — might even be the same chair — about to get another filling, starting a post about one of the tunes Son Lux has made available ahead of the February 9th release of their new Brighter Wounds album.
Yes, aside from the fact that I need to be better about flossing.
“Slowly” has quickly (sorry, couldn’t help myself) jumped way up my list of favorite Son Lux tunes. I feels like a bit of a departure — narrower in scope, maybe, and more personal, but no less ambitious. In fact, this is one of the most interesting examples of deconstruction I’ve heard in a long time. “Slowly” strips the classic R&B form to its basic elements, something the band manages to do with great precision thanks to Chang’s phenomenal internal clock.
Take a listen below. And don’t forget to floss before you go to bed tonight.
Son Lux — “Slowly” [Spotify/iTunes]
Been gnawing on a bunch of non-bloggy writing, but I thought I’d share one thing I’ve been playing on repeat while I work — “Romeo,” from Ian Chang’s upcoming album, Spiritual Leader.
I’ve gotten to know Chang’s virtuosic drumming via Landlady and Son Lux, and its hard to overstate how captivating he is in the live setting. He’s a show unto himself, which makes a solo album — especially this solo album — a natural fit.
Chang’s using a type of technology that allows him to express a wide range of sounds with his kit — sensory percussion, it’s called. Two things jump out: 1. He really can be a show unto himself this way, and 2. This opens the door to a whole new way of listening — form, tonality, decision-making… you get to think a little differently about all of it given how the music is being created.
And you get to hear Ian Chang play drums, which is always a gift. “Romeo” is below, and the preorder is here.
Ian Chang — “Romeo” [Spotify/Bandcamp]
Wanted to post quickly about Sound Gaze for two reasons. First, I wanted to thank Doug for having me on this weekend. He’s a class act, and if you’re not a regular listener, I’d highly recommend tuning into WDCE on Saturdays or subscribing to the podcast and catching up throughout the week. (I can confirm that it’s an excellent running podcast.)
Second, I thought I’d offer a few corrections and clarifications from Saturday, because I clearly have the recall of an overwhelmed chipmunk:
- The new Head and the Heart album, Signs of Light, comes out on September 9.
- The new Hiss Golden Messenger album, Heart Like a Levee, comes out on October 7.
- I saw Xenia Rubinos open for Son Lux, not Son Little. In my defense, both shows happened at Strange Matter, and both were completely awesome.
- That My Morning Jacket album I mentioned (with the amazing deluxe vinyl version) is The Waterfall.
- Jump, Little Children did, in fact, form in North Carolina, though Wikipedia lists Charleston, South Carolina as their pre-breakup “adopted hometown.”
- Apologies for smacking my gums before talking. I don’t think I normally do that, which makes it extra weird that I’d repeatedly do it on the radio.
- Once again, I apologize for abusing the word “incredible,” though, if I were pressed, I’d probably defend any individual use of it.
I talked about having Carl Broemel’s album on hold at BK Music in part because I originally had “In The Dark” in my mix for Saturday but had to make some tough cuts, so I thought I’d share it below. I really, really like this Broemel album. I went straight to BK after the show to grab it and had it spinning just this morning. Well worth a listen, if you haven’t heard it.
Thanks again, Doug, and thanks to everyone who listened.
Carl Broemel — “In The Dark” [Spotify/iTunes]
Toddler YHT is clearly ready for the weekend — are you?
- CD Monday update: Mudcrutch was a hit. My daughter dug it. I dug it. A great time was had by all. There’s a great looseness to it — I’m not sure how long recording took, but it reminds me of the great, lightning-in-a-bottle spontaneity of that Shouting Matches album. Thanks so much to Marcus my coworker for loaning it to me!
- I saw Car Seat Headrest on Monday night in D.C. I have thoughts about it. While I try to get those thoughts organized and typed up, I recommend reading this Doug Nunnally-penned RVA Magazine interview with Will Toledo and listening to anything and everything of his you can get your hands and ears on.
- I could have met Bob Boilen on Monday night but got too nervous. So pissed at myself.
- New Debo Band album!
- This week’s is a must-see Friday Cheers. RVA Music Night. Natalie Prass. Sam Reed. Lady God. I’ve seen the first two, and am crazy about both, but this will be my first time seeing Lady God. Very much looking forward to it. We’re going to book it down to Brown’s Island after work, and by “we” I mean the whole family. Fingers crossed everyone gets in their respective car seats in a timely fashion. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, MRS. YHT.
- This is a two-show weekend, actually, because I have a ticket to go see Son Lux at Strange Matter tomorrow night. I was psyched to see that the opening act, Xenia Rubinos, has a new record streaming over at NPR. I’ve yet to hear the whole thing, but what I have heard is varied and intriguing and I’m hoping I can show up early for this one as well.
See y’all at Cheers. First round is on Toddler YHT! (JK she’s broke as a joke.)
It’s the little things.
Bones is one of those albums I’ve been falling for from the inside out — one memorable moment at a time. (I promise I wrote the first part of that last sentence without the album’s title in mind. Spooooooky.)
The one exception would be the big, bombastic “Change Is Everyting,” which I loved wholly and instantly when I saw Son Lux open for tUnE-yArDs at the National back in March. The rest of Bones has grabbed me one little piece at a time. Here are a few spots I thought y’all might have fun listening out for:
Got to see Son Lux open for tUnE-yArDs on Monday night. I’d consider it a new speed record for a band going from unfamiliar to beloved.