Unraveling the Mystery of Peter Ivers

Photography by Moshe Brakha

Who the hell was Peter Ivers? There are a lot of answers to that question: ’60s avant-garde bandleader, ’70s “pop” singer/songwriter, ’80s New Wave firebrand, film composer, Harvard-certified genius, underground TV personality, punk provocateur—the list goes on and on. Anyone who hung out with David Lynch, John Belushi, Jello Biafra, Ron Howard, Van Dyke Parks, Devo, and Harold Ramis is bound to flummox even the most astute biographer.

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Have a Nice Life On Their Anxiety-Driven Third Album, “Sea of Worry”

haveanicelife-1244Deathconsciousness, the 2008 debut from Connecticut duo Have A Nice Life, is the last album you’d expect to go viral: 85 minutes of eclectic lo-fi home recordings from central Connecticut, somewhere between between post-punk, dark ambient, and darker folk, all inspired by and emulating the deepest pits of depression. But somewhere between Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga’s initial self-release and its seven-and-counting vinyl reissues, Deathconsciousness attracted a fervent audience in various online music communities. 4chan’s /mu/ board—that small, impassioned, and notoriously picky bunch who helped signal-boost Death Grips and Car Seat Headrest into the public consciousness—rated it #10 on their essentials list. /r/indieheads, which boasts a userbase over 800 times that size, awarded it a 9.02/10 score in a community poll. (Naturally, Have A Nice Life have their own subreddit as well.) “No one would know who we were if it wasn’t for the internet,” says Berrett. “It’s an intensely gratifying thing, because neither Tim or I thought anybody would listen to it, and we really emptied a lot of ourselves into that record.”

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Album of the Day: Panic Girl, “Cake on Jupiter”

 

“Himalayan Tea”, the lush, ambient roller from Munich-based artist Panic Girl, opens the door to a world where the ordinary meets the ethereal. The effect is something like magical realism: On “Morning Coffee in Tokyo,” snippets of urban ambience—like the sound of a train in motion, laughter, coughing, and the clinking of dishes—blend with hypnotic percussion and fairytale synths; the faint chatter murmuring in the background of “Moonbase” ground its cosmic arpeggios in earthy tones.

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The Best Soul on Bandcamp: October 2019

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This month’s exciting group of soul artists bravely sing about heartbreak, self-love, and mental health. 

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Hidden Gems: Brain Candle, “Ocean of Storms”

In our series Hidden Gems, writers share their favorite Bandcamp discoveries.

The Philadelphia band Brain Candle bill their doomy, dismal strain of sludge metal on their Bandcamp page as  “ultrasonic aural ecstasy.” Considering how they’re working from a framework that’s traditionally functioned as a vehicle for the exact opposite—a slow drip of sonic suffering—one could argue that such a distinction is self-conflicting, misleading, even; bowel-shaking, drop-tuned breakdowns aren’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. Or perhaps we’ve been under-estimating misery’s malleability the whole time. Released in 2017, Brain Candle’s Ocean of Storms LP is a wondrous anomaly, a readily-accessible, impeccably-produced, riff-filled respite from sludge and doom’s languishing, low-and-slow universe. 

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Dark Shoegaze, Symphonic Metal, Jazz and More

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Welcome to Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend crucial new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Album of the Day: Teebs, “Anicca”

Producer Teebs—born Mtendere Mandowa—has been both a cult figure in the L.A. beat scene since his 2010 Brainfeeder debut, Ardour. Two albums followed—2011’s Collections and 2014’s E S T A R A—but he’s remained relatively quiet since. His new album, Anicca, marks an end to that period of dormancy, and arrives propelled by a formidable roster of collaborators: Sudan Archives, Panda Bear, Anna Wise, Pink Siifu, and more. 

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The Essential Alt-Pop of Cascine

Cascine

In the winter of 2010, Jeff Bratton took a sabbatical from his corporate job in Los Angeles and flew to Sweden. There, he met the owners of his favorite record label—a small indie named Service, whose roster included Jens Lekman, The Embassy and The Tough Alliance—and asked if he could help out. “I didn’t have any experience, and there wasn’t a whole lot of money to go around, but I just wanted to be involved,” Bratton says. A month later, he returned to Los Angeles with his own personal Service email address. But more importantly, he’d lit the fuse for a career in the music business. 

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