Off the Shelf–WIDE AWAKE! by Parquet Courts

A quick preface from the editor:

At WKDU we receive new music every week from a huge variety of labels. We keep all of our new releases in our main control room (the room out of which our DJs do their thing) on our “New Music Shelf”.  Our DJs pull from this shelf quite often, because our goal is to serve you the freshest underground cuts–FDA certified 100% organic, grass-fed, farm to table, FRESH. With “Off the Shelf”, our goal is to dive deeper than ever into our “New Music Shelf” favorites, and to share our thoughts with our community. Here’s hoping we inspire you to check out something NEW.

Wide Awake

By Matt Squires

Parquet Courts’ new album, Wide Awake!, is a diverse collection of raw rock and rolls sounds, familiar to the American ear, yet unique and refreshing. The production is minimalistic, to focus the listener on the melodic and rhythmic aspects of the songs, which are undeniably catchy. The vocals are raw with minor imperfections as if performed in a live setting.

“Total Football” kicks off the album with a classic rock style sharp slow chord progression. Soon the beat speeds up and the bass riff kicks, forcing the listener to bounce back and forth, a feeling used many times on this album including, “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience” and “Extinction”. Growly vocals are introduced, seemingly untrained and raw, their voices fit the aesthetic perfectly. This riveting intro song ends like the streets of Philadelphia after the 2018 super bowl, “F___ Tom Brady!!”.

“Violence” shows the more serious side of this album. Smooth groovy rhythms and catchy riffs over a yelling monologue until coming in with the chorus “violence is daily life.” Parquet Courts makes their way around the genre spectrum while maintaining the same production aesthetic with the slowed jam, “before the water gets too high”.  The repeating riff is memorizing and the organ-sounding synth chords hold the song together.

Next stop on this journey is a flashback to 90s alternative rock. Sounding like Pavements “Range Life”, “Mardi Gras Beads” takes the album to very familiar place. The smooth lush reverb-filled verse contrasts with the rigid power chords that come in the chorus creating a rich texture. “Almost had to start a fight” channels the bands Proto-Punk aesthetic with riffs sounding like MC5, the vocals match the rhythm to create a concrete, energetic jam. Merging into “In and out of Patience” with the phrase “If it stops i’m having a bad dream”, the pattern changes, putting another involuntary step in the foot of the listener.

The aptly named, “Freebird 2”, lives up to its name talking about drugs and getting older with pentatonic blues scales. The title song, “Wide Awake” combines a groovy bass riff with a dance party vibe. The use of Auxiliary percussion on this track makes it stand out from the others. A straight rhythm blues jam ends the album out with a piano melody doubling the vocals, making for an upbeat vibe. The chord progression is a mixture of simple chords and unusually dissonant chords that give an excellent texture to this familiar groove.

Parquet Courts have maintained their progressive classic rock style. Innovative yet so familiar and easy to latch on to, this album is an instant classic filled with songs that capture the last 50 years of rock music. 

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“New” Matt’s top albums of 2014

by Matt Scottoline

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The following are the albums released this year which I spent the most (or at the very least, some) amount of time with. The list is numbered, however, if I’m being honest, after about #4 or #5, they all fall into the category of “albums where I’ve enjoyed songs but don’t really feel an affection for on any deeper level.”

To say I really loved 10 or however many albums this year would be untrue. But I also always find myself going back to albums from any given year and finding that love in places I wouldn’t have expected. I guess what I’m really trying to say is none of these lists matter that much. Or at least mine doesn’t. But you’ve already read this far, so it would be kind of silly to stop now, right?

 

So, here is my list for 2014. Some of these albums I really love (#1 and #2) others I’m very fond of (#3 and #4) and the rest had –at the very least– songs that I enjoyed.

Top Played Artists 1/7-1/13

1 DUCKTAILS – Wish Hotel
2 TENNIS – Small Sound
3 CULTS – Static
4 WOODEN SHJIPS – Back To Land
5 LOS CAMPESINOS! – No Blues
6 YUCK – Glow And Behold
7 GRIZZLY BEAR – Shields: Expanded
8 GRINGO STAR – Floating Out To See
9 PARQUET COURTS – Tally All The Things That You Broke
10 OF MONTREAL – Lousy With Sylvianbriar
11 DALE EARNHARDT JR. JR. – The Speed Of Things
12 MARIJUANA DEATHSQUADS – Oh My Sexy Lord
13 WHITE FENCE – Live In San Francisco
14 BLOOD ORANGE – Cupid Deluxe
15 HEAD AND THE HEART – Let’s Be Still
16 GRISWOLDS – Heart Of A Lion
17 ANTHONY GREEN – Young Legs
18 WHITE DENIM – Corsicana Lemonade
19 CUT COPY – Free Your Mind
20 TITLE FIGHT – Spring Songs
21 DARKSIDE – Psychic
22 THEE OH SEES – Singles Collection, Volume 3
23 SHY GIRLS – Timeshare
24 SALLIE FORD AND THE SOUND OUTSIDE – Summer
25 GROSS GHOST – Public Housing
26 PIXIES – EP-1
27 ALBERT HAMMOND JR. – AHJ
28 POLICA – Shulamith
29 LA LUZ – It’s Alive
30 CHEAP TIME – Exit Smiles

Top Played Artists 10/28/2013 – 11/4/2013

1 OF MONTREAL Lousy With Sylvianbriar
2 DR. DOG B-Room
3 DEER TICK Negativity
4 YUCK Glow And Behold
5 KING KRULE 6 Feet Beneath The Moon
6 PARQUET COURTS Tally All The Things That You Broke [EP]
7 KEVIN DEVINE Bubblegum
8 BELLE AND SEBASTIAN The Third Eye Centre
9 THOSE DARLINS Blur The Line
10 FUZZ Fuzz
11 SLEIGH BELLS Bitter Rivals
12 POLICA Shulamith
13 DALE EARNHARDT JR. JR. The Speed Of Things
14 HAIM Days Are Gone
15 MAN MAN On Oni Pond
16 FRANKIE ROSE Herein Wild
17 PHANTOGRAM Phantogram [EP]
18 THE BLOW The Blow
19 BEST COAST Fade Away
20 UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Blue Record [EP]
21 CHVRCHES The Bones Of What You Believe
22 HEAD AND THE HEART Let’s Be Still
23 RUBBLEBUCKET Save Charlie [EP]
24 OBITS Bed And Bugs
25 MAZZY STAR Seasons Of Your Day
26 CHELSEA WOLFE Pain Is Beauty
27 DISMEMBERMENT PLAN Uncanney Valley
28 COURTNEY BARNETT The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas
29 ALBERT HAMMOND JR. AHJ
30 VOLCANO CHOIR Repave

Top Played Artists 10/22 – 10/28

1    OF MONTREAL    Lousy With Sylvianbriar
2    DEER TICK    Negativity
3    YUCK    Glow And Behold
4    DR. DOG    B-Room
5    KING KRULE    6 Feet Beneath The Moon
6    PARQUET COURTS    Tally All The Things That You Broke [EP]
7    SLEIGH BELLS    Bitter Rivals
8    FRANKIE ROSE    Herein Wild
9    THOSE DARLINS    Blur The Line
10    KEVIN DEVINE    Bubblegum
11    MAN MAN    On Oni Pond
12    UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA    Blue Record [EP]
13    OBITS    Bed And Bugs
14    FLATLINERS    Dead Language
15    BELLE AND SEBASTIAN    The Third Eye Centre
16    BEST COAST    Fade Away
17    CHVRCHES    The Bones Of What You Believe
18    THE BLOW    The Blow
19    RUBBLEBUCKET    Save Charlie [EP]
20    CHELSEA WOLFE    Pain Is Beauty
21    ELF POWER    Sunlight On The Moon
22    NO AGE    An Object
23    RJD2    More Is Than Isn’t
24    ST. LUCIA    When The Night
25    MGMT    MGMT
26    CRYSTAL STILTS    Nature Noir
27    SUPERCHUNK    I Hate Music
28    TIM KASHER    Adult Film
29    TOUCHE AMORE    Is Survived By
30    WASHED OUT    Paracosm