Does not age.
  • Weird Al refuses to age.

• Satire king “Weird Al” Yankovic released a brand-new album last week—Mandatory Fun—with eight days of video releases expertly spoofing Iggy Azalea, Pharrell Williams, Charli XCX, Lorde, Robin Thicke, Crosby, Stills & Nash (?!), and more. Though his shtick is polarizing, we’re firmly planted in the “he’s a fucking genius and always has been” category. Stay weird!

Sub Pop’s A&R squad hit up Chop Suey Saturday night to check out flamboyant LA prog-pop group Fever the Ghost. But one rep told us that he was more impressed with dynamic psych-rock openers Morgan Delt. “Their album’s fucking incredible,” the Sub Pop staffer said. He’s right. No offense to FTG, but we hope Sub Pop opts for Morgan Delt.

Substrata 1.4 lived up to our high expectations. Rafael Anton Irisarri’s annual festival of experimental drone and ambient music featured nine acts July 17–19 at Wallingford’s beautiful Chapel Performance Space; all were compelling, and a few were sublime. Finnish producer Mika Vainio ruled, his set a shocking conflagration of extreme frequencies, tension-building pauses pregnant with danger, and sounds of otherworldly war. Mountains member Koen Holtkamp used his Eurorack module synthesizer to optimal effect, erecting radiant, oceanic drones and punching out manic, Subotnick-like passages that sounded like termites doing the cha-cha. Once again, Substrata gave us our highbrow musical highlight of the year.

• As admirers have been crowing for nearly half a century, hiphop belongs in museums, so hurrah for the Smithsonian for acquiring the beat machine and Moog synthesizer used by the late, great, riotously influential beatmaker J Dilla. Suggested follow-up acquisitions for the Smithsonian: Roxanne Shanté’s humongous figurative balls. Also, Sha-Rock’s beautifully melodious voice, trapped and glowing in a tube, Little Mermaid–style.

• Speaking of Sup Pop, they’re flying our music editor, Emily Nokes, to Poland on a last-minute trip to check out OFF Festival, an annual alternative music fest held in Katowice, August 1–3. The lineup this year will include Neutral Milk Hotel, Belle & Sebastian, Perfume Genius, Fuck Buttons, Andrew W.K., Earth, and a lot more, with a Sub Pop stage featuring a mix of Polish artists and the label’s artists (clipping., Protomartyr, Rose Windows, and Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires). Where is Poland, exactly? How much borscht can you eat in one sitting? The answers to these questions and more, coming to a Slog near you.

• On a related point, how far has The Stranger’s credibility plunged now that we’re letting a record label send a Stranger employee to check out a music festival the record label has a stage at? How much more problematic is it given that said employee also has a record out on a subsidiary of said record label?