Thee Oh Sees Explore The Seedy Underbelly in “Lupine Dominus” Video

After exploding last year with a pair of excellent albums, Castlemania and Carrion Crawler/The Dream, veteran San Francisco garage rockers Thee Oh Sees are back with a new set of fuzzy, organ-tinged rockers, Putrifiers II. In the just-released video for the rollicking "Lupine Dominus," off the new record, we follow a defeated-looking bro, "Smack My Bitch Up" video-style, into a seedy gentleman’s club where the women wear fishnets and swivel along steel poles. What he’s really looking for, however, will lead to the video’s twist ending. 

John Strong, a regular Pitchfork.tv camera operator and editor who has made a batch of short films and music videos, directs the clip. Watch below, turn it up and get your midday rock on.

Prolific Wunderkind Ty Segall Releases Yet Another Album This Year—And It’s Completely Different

Fans of sludgy, lo-fi, aggressive rock have only had one name on their lips this year: Ty Segall. The 25-year-old Californian, whose shaggy blond hair and baby face make him look like a young Thurston Moore, has already put out two albums in 2012. One, Slaughterhouse, has a spaced-out wall of guitar sound, while the other, Hair, is a lo-fi, feedback-filled, shambolic psychedelic trip. These records are the best kind of genre exercises: wildly fun and playful, but still operating within conventions that make them easy to listen to. Both records were deemed “Best New Music” on Pitchfork (average score: 8.45), and praised up and down the blogosphere. Stereogum spoke for many fans and critics when they called
 Slaughterhouse “a confident attempt at
making the ‘evil, evil space rock’ Segall
has repeatedly cited as his ideal sound.”

So why, on his third album of the 
year, Twins, is he leaving all that behind? “The whole ‘evil space rock,’ thing—honestly I wish I’d never said that,” Segall admitted recently while on a rare break in his European tour. Confronted with that Stereogum quote, his usually implacable Californian good–naturedness is punctured for a rare moment. “Evil space rock is one ideal sound,” he says, sounding a little baffled. “But, we like doing different stuff.”

From the opening chords on the new album, that’s clear. The screeching, lo-fi, dirty metal sound of almost all his other records (save, perhaps, last year’s tuneful Goodbye Bread) is gone. In its place is an unusually mature, structured, and melodic collection of songs. There are layered vocal harmonies, female backup singers, bridges, and snappy, memorable choruses. That’s not to say it’s not heavy—there are still plenty of lightning bolts of guitar wizardry. But the mix has calmed down, the notes all have plenty of space to breathe, and the background fuzz is at a minimum. At times, Segall almost sounds like 1990s Britpop kings Supergrass (especially on the album’s opener, “Thank God For Sinners”) or even Revolver-era Beatles. (“The Hill” has moments that sound like “Tomorrow Never Knows,” or, as Segall calls it, “that song where they say ‘Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.’”)

Segall sees the record as more of an evolution than a departure. “I wouldn’t say that I have to sound distorted and gnarly and messed up on recordings for me to be happy with them,” he tells me. “I’ve always wanted to get that clean sound.” Indeed, the past year have seen a whole raft of lo-fi artists, from Frankie Rose to the Vivian Girls, attempting to release more full-sounding, mature albums. Segall is just another in a long line.

Not that he necessarily had any of this planned going in. When I ask him what his inspiration for the new record and its new sound was, he pauses for a moment. “Well, you know, I got this fuzz pedal that I really liked, and I really wanted to use. I was like, okay, start here and see what happens.” Some things never change.

Follow Chris Chafin on Twitter.

Bands You Should See in New York This Month

Here are our recommendations for May shows with a few videos for your perusal. 

TIMBER TIMBRE (opening for Feist)
May 5

Radio City Music Hall ($40)
Show: 8:00 p.m.

Feist fans will have the chance to discover Timber Timbre at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, when the Canadian blues-folk band (who recently supported The Meat Puppets) takes the stage opening for the fellow Arts & Crafts-signed-singer-songwriter. Timber Timbre, composed of Taylor Kirk, Mika Posen and Simon Trottier, have been on the road since the release of their fourth record, Creep On Creepin’ On, in April of last year. Their atmospheric sound is dark, haunting and worth a listen.

 

SPIRITUALIZED (with Nikki Lane)
May 7

Terminal 5 ($30 Advanced/$35 Day of Show)
Doors: 7:00 p.m./Show: 8:00 p.m.

The Englishmen are back on tour following the April release of their seventh studio album Sweet Heart Sweet Lights. “I always shy away from anything I write that sounds like a pop song […] This time I’m embracing songs like that and seeing what happens. I’m not fighting it any more,” Spiritualized mastermind Jason Pierce told NME during the making the new record. Critics have praised the results, calling it the band’s best work since 1997’s acclaimed Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. You be the judge.

 

TY SEGALL AND WHITE FENCE (with The Strange Boys, The Men)
May 16

Webster Hall ($15 ADV/$17 DOS)
Doors: 7:30 p.m./Show: 8:30 p.m.

Don’t miss your chance to catch garage and psych rockers Ty Segall and White Fence (Tim Presley) when the Californians present their Drag City collaboration Hair, a brilliant 60s lo-fi psychedelic revival record that’s begging to be heard live. The LP features Presley on lead guitar and bass, while Segall plays drums and rhythm guitar.

 

THE DIG (w Taurus)
May 20

Glasslands Gallery ($10 ADV/$12 DOS)
Show: 8:30 p.m.

Brooklyn’s The Dig have all the elements of a power-pop band; they’re four guys – David Baldwin, Emile Mosseri, Erick Eiser and Mark Demiglio – on guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. Their new record Midnight Flowers comes out May 29th, following their catchy debut LP Electric Toys, released in 2010. Give them a listen and check them out, so you can say you “saw them back when they played Glasslands.”

 

THAT DOG. (with Kurt Braunohler, Baron Vaughn)
May 25

Music Hall of Williamsburg ($20 ADV/$25 DOS)
Doors: 8:00 p.m./Show: 9:00 p.m.

The L.A.-based punk-infused power-pop band known as “That Dog.” (Anna Waronker, Rachel Haden, Petra Haden and Tony Maxwell), who formed in 1991, dispersed in 1997, only to reunite in 2011, are playing their first NYC shows in 15 years on May 24th and 25th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. As expected, their first show sold out, but wait – there are still tickets available for the second night.

Pitchfork Music Festival Finalizes Lineup: Beach House, Wild Flag & More Join the Fun

Today, Pitchfork added the final batch of bands to its 2012 music festival lineup, well ahead of the July 13-15 weekend where the excitement will go down in Chicago’s Union Park: Beach House, Wild Flag, Real Estate, Atlas Sound, Big K.R.I.T., Nicolas Jaar, Cults, Chavez, Ty Segall, Oneohtrix Point Never, Youth Lagoon, Thee Oh Sees, King Krule, Lotus Plaza, Dirty Beaches, Lower Dens, Milk Music, the Psychic Paramount, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Outer Minds, and A Lull. The festival might not ever be as fun as the year when they sold Sparks at the beer tents, but sometimes life forces you to make sacrifices for sanity’s sake. You can look at the final lineup, which is looking pretty healthy, after the click.

Pitchfork, in my opinion, is the best deal in national music festivals. For the cost of a one-way plane ticket, you get to see dozens of relevant, high quality bands at varying points in their life cycle: buzz acts finding their live presence, indie veterans who’ve settled into a comfortable set list, and the random top-shelf name brand gifted with a headlining set for a crowd that’s absolutely reveretial of their presence. And the people watching! The people watching is absolutely superb. Three-day passes are sold out, though you can still purchase individual one-day tickets if that weekend is still looking free on your schedule.  

Friday, July 13:

A$AP Rocky
Willis Earl Beal
Big K.R.I.T.
Clams Casino
Dirty Projectors
Feist
Tim Hecker
Lower Dens 
The Olivia Tremor Control
Outer Minds 
Purity Ring

Saturday, July 14:

The Atlas Moth
Atlas Sound 
Danny Brown
Cloud Nothings
Cults 
Flying Lotus
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Grimes
Hot Chip
Nicolas Jaar 
Liturgy
Lotus Plaza 
The Psychic Paramount 
Schoolboy Q
Sleigh Bells
Wild Flag 
Youth Lagoon 

Sunday, July 15:

A Lull 
AraabMUZIK
Beach House 
Chavez 
Dirty Beaches 
The Field
Iceage
King Krule 
Kendrick Lamar
The Men
Milk Music 
Thee Oh Sees 
Oneohtrix Point Never 
Real Estate 
Ty Segall 
Unknown Mortal Orchestra 
Vampire Weekend