Top Ten Lists I Don’t Really Want to Write but Probably Will to Get Clicks in 2014

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10. Top 10 Albums of 2014: because if it’s not on this list, it’s not even worth listening to.

9. Top 10 Tracks of 2014: because the idea of an album is so played out.

8. Top 10 Labels from 2014: because these labels only existed this year, will not exist next year, and I definitely, maybe listened to all of their releases.

7. Top 10 Ambient Releases of 2014: because we’re much more sophisticated than you and damn well intend to show it.

6. Top 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Online of 2014: because we too participate in the materialism machine and if you’re cool, so will you.

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5. Top 10 Venues of 2014: because although you might think of us as computer strapped bloggers, we occasionally go out into the real world.

4. Top 10 Live Bands of 2014: because we’d like to pretend that music is still appreciated live the way it used to be.

3. Top 10 Tracks from Japan That You Have to Hear: because America is over-rated, and we know all the good stuff is foreign anyway.

2. Top 10 Underground Bars That You’ve Never Heard of: because we completely intend to ruin a good thing by showing all the bridge and tunnel kids.

1. Top 10 Other Publications You Should Read: because nobody will ever write this and promote another blog or magazine that’s not their own.

Santa-list

5 Things You Need to Try Putting In and Around Your Butt from 2014.

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Your Finger

Let’s start here. After all, you wouldn’t have made it through the year if you couldn’t use your fingers to pick up a glass of water, thank you fingers. I once had a gay friend of mine tell me that if my prostate hadn’t ever been stimulated, I had never really cum. He wasn’t wrong. Take it easy though, no need to go straight for your middle finger, try the pinky first. Once you’ve moved up, you can graduate to your girlfriends dildo (when she’s not home obviously). Just make sure to wash it off or she might start asking questions.

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Someone else finger

I don’t know about you, but I’m a lazy American. If i can get someone to take the work out of ass play, I’m there. Plus the angles are much harder when it’s just you, alone, in your room, with the lights off, and some candles lit, with Sade playing in the background, and your parents downstairs shaving carrots for dinner.

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Bloggers, specifically, music bloggers, specifically DIY music bloggers

Aren’t there enough of these already? Is the market really demanding more? We’re not even competing for dollars anymore, we’re competing for your Facebook likes and now that any schmuck like Dingus can pass judgement on anything, is there even such a thing as formal critique? It’s all just click bait, right? And I know, to some extent Facebook likes equals dollars, but not here, and we’re still going strong as fuck with an ego to match our testicles (which we thought we liked played with, until we discovered out butts).

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Protestors

Come on now, just roll over and die already. The police state is coming and your signs aren’t doing anything except giving it a reason to come quicker. Protest never changed anything, except everything. You’d be just as effective tickling someones prostate, if not your own.

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U2

You might not realize it, but if you have iTunes, than you’ve already had U2 in your butt this year. There’s nobody who knows how to play with a mans asshole better than Bono. His name is so similar to the word boner that it’s almost like he’s trying to tell you something. Bono has been quoted as thanking rimming and butt play as one of the main influences in his music, and thank god. Where would this world be without U2 invading your privacy. Do they even need to ask? That’s the face of a man with a finger in his own ass, so of course we’d let him get up in ours. @Dingusonmusic

Single: Catcalls [Alex Napping]

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.03.42 PM“Catcalls” by Alex Napping   (Austin, Texas)

Alex Napping is a 4-piece band from Austin, Texas and they’re bringing a new feel to what we know as indie pop. This band hasn’t been together all that long, but they’re certainly making a name for themselves with their debut LP, This Is Not a Bedroom. 

“Catcalls” is a standout track off of This Is Not a Bedroom and, well, it’s not about what you think- well maybe it is. No, it’s not about cats screaming in the dead of night and, no, it’s not necessarily about creepy guys whistling at girls in the street. This is a song about bootycalls. “Catcalls” has everything a good and genuine indie pop song should be required to have. Cool and catchy guitar riff, a poppy drum beat, and a vocalist with an extremely unique voice. For some reason, when she hits some notes, she sounds a bit like a female Anthony Green (Circa Survive). Am I the only one who noticed? Yeah? Okay, whatever. I’m digging Alex Napping.  @caaarlirose

[[DANGERZONE]] Friends W/ Hilary Duff, Xtina Milian, Black Eyed Peas, Boyz II Men…

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AND ROBOTS.

I didn’t want to jinx it but it appears that we are actually getting a monthly release from Boston based electronic collective Friends with Robots. Lets enjoy this while it lasts. On their last two releases we saw some really fresh tracks and a few sick remixes. My favorite, up until today, probably being the Tunesquad remix of “Summertime” by homies The Skins.

Now, on their third release, we see nothing but remixes of some of the finest throwback tracks. And as much as I love Boyz II Men, Hilary Duff, Chris Brown, and obviously Soulja Boy, The Black Eyed Peas remix by Jill Blutt and the Alex Coco X EmojiBoi remix of Christina Milian’s “Dip it Low” are both particularly on point. They managed to maintain the original vibe of the tracks while completely changing the sound of them. Really well done classy af.

The “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” remix is pretty far removed from its original tracks state of being but, in my opinion, that’s all for the better. It’s got a super heavy groove and remains sexy, no offense Soulja Boy, without losing its balls.

And don’t get me started on this Chris Brown or Hilary Duff remix… there isn’t mollies fire enough for me to keep up with those.

  

Well done, yung fam gods. You’re seriously making me proud to call myself a friend of robots. If anyone needs me I’ll be somewhere other than my bed listening to the original “So Yesterday” recording…

You guys know she’s working on a 5th studio album right? And I think she’s got a kid? @mavyentco

Video: Hot Checks [GLOVES]

At first glance, I had to ask myself my favorite question with music; “…do I really like this, or do I hate this?”

This isn’t something I can pin down to a very specific subgenre – which is something I love – and the tone of voice here is so unique and smooth sounding.

Frankly, my initial favorite thing here was the strange honesty that plays through. There’s beauty in the simplicity of what they’ve created. These guys don’t come off as if they’re trying to pander to a specific crowd, they’re just playing what they like and playing it well, and that’s probably the most important thing to do in music. They have an image that fits what they’re doing and the music to back it up – a very unique and interesting post-punk meets alt-funk thing.

  

When I looked into them, I found that they’re from Austin, Texas, which sort of makes sense in a way I can’t exactly put into words but it might lie in the approach and execution of the music. Texas has a history of funk-leaning punky bands going back to the likes of the Big Boys, so perhaps the fusion was just as natural and cathartic as New York bands taking from the Velvet Underground or Ramones.

The video here is great. It was funny. It was sort of a lighthearted jab at modern art and the pop image of the ‘hipster’ (as far as what I took away from it), but it wasn’t malicious or bitter.

  

It’s all in black and white and the band is featured performing their song dressed all in black in clothing that immediately brought images to mind of the mod culture of the 60s, the Beat poets, and – for the film nerd in me – John Shaft’s turtleneck on the DVD cover of Shaft (shut up, Shaft is cool as fuck and you know it (except for, y’know, the blatant sexism)).

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Cuts between these shots feature the band members dancing in a very goofy fashion in front of a white wall in a very empty-looking gallery type room as well as two artsy, for lack of better description, types dancing in front of similar walls until they eventually cross paths, with the two kids seemingly judging the band’s goofy moves, and the band then cool-posing while the two bohemians dance in the center of the frame.

All in all, what I liked most about this is that it was genuine and it was fun. It wasn’t pushing poetic when it couldn’t pull it off, and it wasn’t subscribing to a certain fashion trend. I mean not to exaggerate, though, because to say that this is the single most original and important thing I’ve heard in a while would be a ridiculous stretch, but what this song and video did was satisfy me for three whole minutes as well as strike an interest in a new sound dynamic I’ve yet to hear and hook me onto a band that I’m now sure to follow. So the answer to my initial question? I really liked it. @axel_chitlon

Video: No Turn on Red [The Bandicoots]

There isn’t much I wouln’t do for a band that recreates the Ministry of Silly-walks. Thank god the song’s good because I would have posted this anyway because the video is just that fucking awesome. It’s the complete distillation of a childhood lead on by someones very cool dad who exposed them to all the right shit, then said “son, start a band”. Mad love for The Bandicoots. (High five to their parents) @Dingusonmusic

Best New Music: GOODHEARTS EP [Tim Fitz]

a1380931105_10GOODHEARTS EP by Tim Fitz   (Sydney, Australia)

“Gimme some love, gimme some love, gimme some love, gimme some love” Tim Fitz has a long history here on Dingus of being prolific, profound, and popped. The producer/musician/all around solid bro has put out four EPs in his history adorning the pages of this little blog, and now the GOODHEARTS EP is his fifth.

The cosmos that is GOODHEARTS is the same cosmos that every Fitz release floats through. It’s the absolutes in the wavering complexity that is the clash of experiment vs. pop. While each track contains its hook, contains its infectious melody, it also contains is sonics challenge.

Tracks like “Sour”, “Gimme Some Love”, “Goodhearts”, “No Rooms Tonight”, and “Just Pleased to be There” (yes that’s the whole thing) consistently deliver on an unspoken promise to be different while remaining just same enough to worm their way into my dumbed down media corrugated mind.”Gimme some love, gimme some love, gimme some love, gimme some love” @Dingusonmusic

Single: Rain [Dead Sea]

10442888_1553859811517046_537355399357361996_nEP1 by Dead Sea   (Paris, France)

  

This track ‘Rain’ by Parisian band Dead Sea, posted roughly one month after the break up of  Crystal Castles, definitely resembles their sound: glitched pop and somber beauty.  “Ascension in the night,” they sing as the track closes out, a repetitive and passionate reflection on the divinity of sleep. @hiv_aidz

Album: Smack the Brick [Guerilla Toss]

a4256736409_10Smack the Brick by Guerilla Toss   (Boston, Massachusetts)

  

Every Guerilla Toss release is distinctly Guerilla Toss. Every Guerilla Toss release is distinctly its own beast. Smack The Brick feels even more different, somehow. The drumming, guitar and vocals all feel quite GT, with minor adjustments (minor in their appearance, major in their affect).

The entire album has a sense of rhythm that reminds me of Toots and the Maytals…in that if you don’t move there’s a good chance you’re dead.

  

The first track opens with the smacking of the brick. Peter Negroponte’s classic drum sounds are on the “brick smack” setting. I cannot think of another way to describe that initial sound. All of their albums until now had a lurching quality to them. Pat Kuehn (the new bassist) and Toby Aronson of NNA Tapes (the new keyboardist) create a funky feeling, if funk came from St. Patrick’s Purgatory, rather than outer-space. Cassie Karlson’s vocals also exhibit sounds and patterns not often heard in other releases. Her sounds are still as percussive as ever, but the tones are more varied, and the melody is more prominent.

After multiple listens, I notice how much is going on. Arian Shafiee’s guitar playing is what’s giving me that creeping sensation. But Guerilla Toss never gets over crowded and each piece can stand on its own. The track speeds up to the classic GT BPM, maintaining the new funk, something else is still different; there are new sounds somewhere. Perhaps Toby has put in his own sounds, and perhaps Peter has changed the sounds for his contact mics and drum pads.

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The second track is much more sickening. The sounds swirl and create a seasickness in me I desperately want to stop. Cassie’s vocals are buried, emphasizing their percussive quality. At my breaking point the track jump-cuts to an especially dumb baby banging its toy on the sidewalk, thanks to Peter’s endless range of sounds he generates.

The melody and the riffs become catchy and anxiety provoking.

  

The grooves in this song are layered and filled with different sounds, but overall the grooves are quite minimal. Guerilla Toss can really do whatever they want. “Etqueeny” shows the mechanisms of the new sound. Minimalist grooves are combined with a complicated layering of secret timbre. Not everything is immediately apparent. Almost every sound has a harmony attached to it. Who knows what Cassie is saying in the first part of this song. Her vocals are buried, but not percussive. This time she is that melodic, catchy scratch at the back of your memory.

Following, is a noise wall of concern and anger. I’m imagining a disco smirk. It’s a groove I’m angry and guilty about. The final track might be my favorite of the four. The track is mainly focused around strange, melodic grooves and riffs that recall some tracks from Massacre’s album Killing Time. Toby controls a good portion of this song leading the rest of the group on a frantic chase for the song’s congealing. The harmonies in this song are harmonies I never want to hear, they frighten me. The speakers began to sound like they would rip apart at any moment, which I know is the mix, but that wonderful sound of possibly blowing my speakers made me glad with anxiety as they finally ripped and the album was over. @grim_grimes

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How Ibogaine Destroyed My Psyche

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Five years of drug abuse, bizarre love triangles, bad art, and bad business had made my life spiral into a strange funk.

  

Waking up in the morning was dreadful. My train ride to work came with visions of bad trips, bad arguments, and violence. These sorts of visuals are not easy to turn down. No, they turned up whenever I was faced with something pleasant, such as the blooming of a flower or whatever.

I’d go to a party every night of the week, and give everyone the troll face. People disgusted me in every possible way as they gave me their scripted pleasantries. The how do you dos, or what do you dos, or where are you froms… Whether it was their tendency to think on a level that only suited themselves whenever they had gauged my responses, or the way that every time I would meet someone new, I’d have this list of personality traits that I had seen in my past to unjustifiably compare them to. I had learned how to love my contempt for others. I found myself in the company of women who lusted after depravity. Even nowadays I can’t help but reminisce about it fondly in a strange way. I’m sure Lacan would have loved me.

Most friends that I could claim to have would drift away in a few months time. The ones that stayed around were the ones who were either such strong people that I would never have been able to hurt them, or people who simply did not know how fucked up I can be.

  

I did love my psychedelics though. I loved being able to get past the barrier of selfhood through the psychedelic experience.

Ibogaine, which is the psychoactive chemical, found in the Iboga plant, is native to western central Africa, particularly in Gabon, where a spiritual movement known as Bwiti thrives. What they do is use the plant and its psychedelic effects for rite of passage rituals, as a sort of “fast and painful” way into adulthood. Ibogaine has recently found effective use in the western world as a treatment for heroin addiction, and all though I was never a user I still found myself intrigued. People who had engaged in the ritual before had described the experience as one that destroys you, and gives you the blocks to put yourself back together. Perhaps it was time for a self transformation? I was lucky enough to be given this opportunity by a friend of mine.

Flash forward to 8 P.M. on a Sunday evening in September and I had just ingested the substance in pill form. The facilitator, a towering 6 foot tall weirdo. Bald head and gages, an ex addict that now swears to veganism and yoga. We sat in his studio in the Lower East Side. Pillows and rugs had adorned the space, with blankets for comfort and cold. There was no real “furniture” besides that to be found. Pretty ferns on every corner of the place. A poster of one Paul Laffoley’s esoteric diagrams had been placed on the wall above the TV. I was waiting, as I had ingested the substance 2 hours prior. I still felt nothing. He had told me that it can take a long time, and offered to double my dosage just in case. I took it with a sense of trepidation, turned on the TV, and tuned into some Doctor Who. Two hours later, still nothing. I decided to go out for a smoke.

On my way back to the apartment I suddenly became very dizzy and had a very tough time keeping my balance.

I stumble my way to the door, knocking haphazardly while letting him know that my spiritual water has just broke. He opens the door and helps me into the meditation room. This is where I spent the next 17 hours, in a complete daze.

  

I covered myself in a blanket, fell down on my back, and closed my eyes. Twitching. I was taken to the beginning of humankind. The chaos of the African grasslands gave birth to humor, gave birth to language, and gave birth to society. Off in the distance I heard the music my friend had turned on to guide me through the trip. This bizarre sound came from vibrating strings held near the shaman’s mouth. The mutual resilience between the vocal chords and his jaw harp created a bizarre but calming resonance. Alien Music. I felt like the world was a rubber band, constantly in flux between chaos and order. Resilient resonance perhaps? Well it turned itself into something else completely once I started to peer into my own head.

Atrocity. I was taken through to the experiences of my ancestors. Particularly the Soviet Red Terror of 1918, a horrible time to be alive. Images of the persecutions, the rapes, and murders washed through my mind, through my eyes, completely inescapable. For some reason, I was unfazed, as if the realities being presented to me are nothing but that. The spirit of the Ibogaine told me that this is what people are capable of, and that this is what my family had survived through. At that realization, my mind completely cleared. I thought I was bad? heh. That’s nothing.

Humanity always finds a new way to torture one another.

  

Though the drug had made me see these grotesque and troublesome images, it had also made me feel like I was at peace with it all. Easy enough to say, as I have never personally experienced atrocities at such a scale. For some reason however, at this point I didn’t contemplate any thought of my own experiences. This was far more important. Finding understanding with humanity and it’s faults was far more important, not my own petty trifles.

Angsty questions came about. People are capable of doing shitty things, and they will always find some sort of moral high ground to stand on in order to justify said shitty things. I was reminded of a quote in The Picture of Dorian Gray, describing the libertine character, Sir Henry Wotton;

“He his completely amoral, and yet he does no wrong”. Well at least felt better understanding that my selfish behavior in the past was only that and nothing more. I may have hurt people, but not irreparably, they have moved on and live beautiful lives outside of my influence.

Time for the self reflecting magnifying glass of *my mind* This drug is quite good at making you work on that after all. I may not be French enough to say this with any authority, but memories, for whatever they are worth remind me that I exist. (ok im done) And I thought:

The more I fuck around, the less I feel. The more I analyze, the less I feel. The more I feel, the less I think. The more I feel and think, the less I see. The more I see, the less I hear.

    

Puzzles amongst puzzles, choices that are not really choices. Self imposed restriction in order to make one stronger for the hunt.. The truth amongst truths, forever elusive. So it doesn’t matter. I felt like I was a warrior. I could sit upright, and despite how dizzy I felt, I would hold my balance. I could go out and kill, and bring the goods back to the tribe. That’s all that mattered at the end of the day. This didn’t necessarily make me feel good, but it does give one a sense of backbone and purpose.

The morning was coming along. I’m still tripping, I could open my eyes, but I don’t want to.

The answer hit me. I never bothered asking any of those pesky “why” questions, the kind that people who take LSD or mushrooms suddenly find out the reason for their existence. No, this was better. The only way I could break free from my past, the past of my ancestors, and the resulting malaise was to simply let go. Hunt to my heart’s content, and take care of my damn family. Whatever that means. I felt excited, open minded, no racing thoughts. No recurring visions of abuse. Just an open and ever present mind.

I took this realization and started to dismantle my previous belief systems. There was no point on constantly dwelling on the most horrible aspects of human nature, and as I began to focus on what I can do now. I thought about how the world is mine and I could do whatever I like. Might as well be nice to people. Power hungry types always feel like they are at a loss. I already own the world, so I might as well be a charitable guy.

It took about 20 hours into the trip for me to be able to walk again, of course with a little conscious effort towards keeping my balance. Not too much, but just enough where I had to remain constantly mindful of my surroundings. I stepped outside, and started walking through uptown. It was a Monday at 4 P.M. The order of day to day business that surrounded me was immense. All of these people running around working resulted in the construction of this densely packed conglomeration of monolithic dendrites that we call “the city” . It’s too easy to just dismiss the passersby as worker bees that exist on autopilot. They all have the same crazy thoughts and desires that I do.

Life is grand. It’s been a good month since I’ve had this eye opening experience, and if I could remember only one lesson from it then it would have to be to remove all expectations when I deal with people. Everybody has the potential to be anything, whether it’s brilliant or horrendous. That’s Ibogaine. It will destroy the arbitrary concepts you grew up with so that you can go out and hunt. Eduard Pankov