Listening Party: “So.Incredible.pkg [Robert Glasper Version]” by Denzel Curry, Kenny Beats, Smino, Robert Glasper

Okay, I admit it. I’ve been slacking. First, I post last week’s article on a Saturday, and now this one is on a Sunday. Though I should take full responsibility for my work not meeting self-imposed deadlines, I will instead choose to deflect. I promised to put out new articles weekly, I did not specify a date.

Oh, and I haven’t settled on an exact day that these will be coming out so just, uh, pay attention, I guess.

-Me “New Year, New Me (Kinda)” 01/03/21

Finally, my tendencies towards indecisiveness and my poor planning has paid off. Take that haters. Hyperlink for the skeptics.

So, I’m really happy we got that all cleared up. You all probably feel pretty silly now, huh? Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you.

I found you another steaming hot song for this week. We have ourselves a February 19th release. Oooo baby that is as fresh as fresh gets. This song is an upcoming single off of the Kenny Beats and Denzel Curry project “Unlocked 1.5”. “Unlocked 1.5” is a remixing of their 2020 EP “Unlocked”. Featured on this upcoming EP are the likes of Joey Bada$$, Alchemist, Charlie Heat, and Benny the Butcher, just to name a few. It’s going to be so.incredible.pkg

I really wanted to show George this song. It’s the perfect mix of original and unique flows and wordplay, layered over a beat that should be following an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode. He would have loved this shit. But, George is a very busy man recently. He’s churning out the Tuesday Time Machines with an occasional eargasm sprinkled in there. Plus, now he has a brand new biweekly piece with bpmhill that we are super excited for (check out the first edition of 2+2 Reviews here).

Am I hurt that George didn’t ask to collaborate with me? Maybe. Will I be shooting unnecessary shots across the bow at George because I am hurt? Nah, that doesn’t sound like something I would do.

Anyways, George is ascending the ranks of Indie Pong like a young Patrick Bateman. Everyone is proud. Some are a bit scared. On a brighter note, at least we get to listen to some Huey Lewis and the News before we get hacked to pieces. 🙂

Anyways, I kept the song to myself.

This song starts of and immediately gave me shades of Molliwopped by Earl Sweatshirt. Then we get hit with Denzel’s aggressive, gravelly delivery that we love so much. Denzel hits us with all the energy in this song that can be epitomized in his start to each chorus “I don’t write rhymes… I write checks, Might rewrite your life if the price set”. He keeps that energy flowing through his verse teeing it up for Smino to strut in and knock it out of the park (go Cubs though).

St. Louis’ very own (still go Cubs), Smino gives us a verse on this song that is to die for. I’ve been a big Smino fan since S!ck S!ck S!ck. His voice, his flow, his energy is completely unique and watching him continue to develop without losing or altering what makes him so special has been really cool. I could spend another 500 words talking about my favorite Smino lines in this song, but I’ll leave it at just one “Getting lifted like elevators and bricks”. Come on, that’s great.

TL DR: You’re not my dad and you can’t tell me when to post. So Incredible.pkg is great. No one is sure why George is working so hard but something’s afoot. Tune in next week for a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT CONCERNING MATES!


Listening Party – “Difficult Machinery” by Veik

Happy Saturday, friends! Look at me, a day late and a dollar short. Whatever, who cares. I’m completely unbothered, because I’ve been riding a high all week on an Indie Pong Power Trip (trademark pending). It’s been lovely. In case you missed last week’s edition of Listening Party, here’s the recap:

In a brazen attempt at a shake up of Indie Pong, I manifested a dry February for Brian Mates. There were questions on if I misheard Mates claim he was taking a dry February, or if this was a purposeful attempt to ruin any fun that Mates may have on Super Bowl Sunday and the weeks following. Let me be completely crystal clear: I misheard NOTHING. I am a very purposeful man.

Luckily for Mates, I will not be using my new found power over his personal life again… well, at least not this week. Stay tuned for more.

Anyways, to the article:

I asked Mates for a recommendation this week. He provided me with an absolutely fire track, “Sensitive” by Serena Isioma. I had an article ready to go and was super pumped. It was a masterpiece. Then, I thought to myself, “When did this come out? I’m surprised I didn’t come across this at all this past week.” I went to check Spotify… JANUARY 29th, 2020!!! Nice try Mates. Trying to undermine my credibility as the new music this week guy. I see you pal. Message received.

Next time you try to come for the king you best not miss. (Starts a new page in my “Mates’ Punishment Vision Board” notebook).

So, now I’m off to my own devices. I scoured the web for hours. Checking blogs, searching single release dates, asking strangers on the street if they had released any new singles. Hours turned into days. Morning to afternoon to night. I was lost. Little did I know our own jpgcheif had me covered the whole time and I had been naive to think I could do this on my own. So, I hopped on to the Fresh Singles playlist and I found an absolute USDA Certified Bop: “Difficult Machinery” by Veik. 

For this song we are taking a little trip across the pond to a little place called France. Heard of it? This song is the first single off of Veik’s debut album, “Surrounding Structures” which will be released on April 30th. This song is a snowy day and a fire in the fireplace. You have some nice warm socks on and you’re snuggling into a blanket as you sip some hot coco that your mom made you. All the sudden outside the snow starts to let up. As the guitar peeks out its head from behind the bass-line, so does the sun from behind the clouds. 

There is something so calming and entrancing about this song. I’m really into it. I’m getting overwhelming 80’s goth rock vibes with a little bit of LCD Soundsystem sprinkled in to get your body moving. I want to dance to this song in a basement somewhere with people with names like Sven and Dimitri. I’m not sure why but I think that would be a blast. Enjoy the song, and please find your own Sven and Dimitri, my boys just wanna dance.

Listening Party – “Gang Signs” Freddie Gibbs feat. Schoolboy Q

So, I had been dreading this article this week. I had so much damn trouble finding some piping hot music for this week that I was really excited to write about. I had resigned to one of two options, write an article about a song that came out two weeks ago (gasp) or write an article about a song I wasn’t crazy about (gasp again).

Luckily, tonight was the indiepong happy hour. A night that is revered in the indie music blogs circles as a time of great enlightenment and lava hot takes. After a night of me definitely NOT making absolute ludicrous assertions, I confided in Mates:

“Mates, my article is going to be bad this week. There’s just not any new music released this week that’s speaking to me. I’m concerned.”

“Freddie Gibbs and Q are dropping a song at midnight you NARB.”

“Damn that felt rude, but ok.”

Mates then took a sip of his kombucha, because he chose the shortest month of the year to take a dry month. Good for you Mates! I believe in you.

So, this week I am writing my most steaming hot, fresh out of the oven article of all time. Throw on some mits. Turn on the kitchen fan. It’s gonna get hot in here. 

Schoolboy Q and Freddie are my two favorite rappers right now, bar none. So, you can all imagine my excitement when I heard they were coming out with a song together literally 12 hours ago. These two have never done a collab together, which honestly is somewhat surprising. They both have pretty similar aesthetics as word play gangster rappers who rap over somewhat unconventional beats. 

This is no different. This has to go down as the most uplifting and calming backing tracks to a gangland track. I love it, it’s like a love song for Freddie and Schoolboy’s former lives. I think my favorite part of this instrumental is the trumpets, or as I call them: Sega Genesis SpottieOttieDopaliscious. 

I think deep down inside I always knew I needed a Freddie and Schoolboy track. I have so many ways I could describe this pairing:

Batman and Robin’ you and your family. 

A cheese-burner and fries meal with coke on the side.

Chicken soup for the dark soul.

I could go on…

I could talk about the bars, and cadence in this song for hours, but that would be so boring and would defeat the purpose of me writing these shorter weekly articles. So I’ll give you one sentence: Freddie gangster croons, while Schoolboy emphatically punches each line at the start of his verse like a brick over your head just to throw it in double time right as you start to get settled. 

Listening Party – “Doctor Man” by Flesh Panthers

Flesh Panthers is a ROCK band. We don’t play indie rock or synth pop or any second rate music shit. We chug beer and play power chords!

-Flesh Panthers

F*cking a-right my dudes, couldn’t agree more.

I am here to introduce, or possibly reintroduce, you all to one of the hardest working bands in the midwest, Flesh Panthers. My first exposure to the Flesh Panthers was their 2016 album, Willows Weep. This album dripped Chicago DIY and gave me a lot of Twin Peaks vibes. I’m sure every band in the DIY scene is getting sick of this comparison btw, but it just makes me such a happy lad. This, however, is not that.

Something feels starkly different about “Doctor Man”… 

Legend has it that one day in mid-March, Flesh Panther took LSD on an adventure through the jungles of Nepal. There they met their spirit guide, a wild panther, named Shubhu. Shubhu guided them through the dense vegetation to a bubbling stream at the base of a Bodhi tree, as old as the jungle itself. Here, the Chicago DIY mainstay, Flesh Panther, baptized themselves in all things rock and roll. They cheersed old styles as Jupiter and Saturn entered into The Great Conjunction. At that very moment their sideburns grew 3 centimeters longer and their pants gently flared at the base.

When they arrived back on American soil, Flesh Panther went straight to the studio to record a topical CoronaVirus themed piece, and, as they say, the rest is history.

I have no reference to say there is even the smallest sliver of truth to this story. But, listen to Doctor Man carefully and maybe, just maybe, you can hear the majestic, Shubhu, murmuring the low growl of a backing vocals beneath the 70’s inspired wah pedals and driving bass. As the solo ensues you too will grow sideburns that will make children cry and women swoon. This is the gift that Flesh Panther has bestowed upon you. Use it wisely or it will ultimately crush you.

The power of rock and roll is alive, and it will break a bottle over your head if you look at it the wrong way.


Listening Party – “Nice Guys” by Beach Bunny

<<Air Horn Sound>> We have some new Beach Bunny, people!!! 

I have been talking Mates’s and my girlfriend’s ear off about this all week (yes, they are different people), and I think they both want to kill me. But, I don’t care, because unlike the antagonists in the song, I am a self-aware asshole, who is completely unbothered. So, break out some pink shit and grab your spiked bat. We are hitting the streets and we are going to beat the shit out of any “nice guy” we find. 

“I’m probably different from the other guys you’ve dated.” 

Front kick to the knee cap.

“I think you’re really great, I’m just not looking to be tied down.” 

Knuckle sandwich.

“Your personality looks so good in that shirt.”

Knee to the abdomen, uppercut  to the jaw.

“I’m a really nice guy.”


This song is a warning to all of you self-proclaimed “nice guys” out there. You’re a bunch of f*ckboys in flannel, shitheads in knit sweaters, the patriarchy in periwinkle, clots in cardigans, skanks in scarves. We are on to you, and we will destroy you. But first, we mosh.

When Lili Trifilio came onto the twittersphere and proclaimed that her new music was a reflection of a much healthier mindset, I got a bit nervous. I’m all here for self growth, don’t get me wrong. But, selfishly I love some good and angsty, aggressive punk and I feel that slipping away every time I hear the buzz words: positive mindset and happiness. Good thing I was wrong! These songs are damn angsty and aggressive, but now they are from a place that is substantially more empowered. Check out the whole EP, it’s solid.

Also, Lili owns a sword now so f*ck around and find out, nice boys. 

Strangely Repressed Eargasms: Blessed Be Thou Who Don’t Talketh That Shit

Good evening my brethren and brethrettes. It has come to my knowledge that some “magnet school” kids have been trying to talk that shit. They say that they are better at basketball, because of a level of grit and character that can only be achieved through years of changing in abandoned broom closets. They say that since their education was based in fact and logic that they are indeed the superior bloggers. If you need a recap, check out George’s article. It’s a gem.

To this I say HEATHENS! Go back to where ye belong Satan! Blogging is a divine right to be passed on from one repressed parochial school child to another.

Were Mates and Karl better at basketball than us? No. I’ve played them one on one and cooked them both. Mates cried so uncontrollably that I had to apologize to his mother (lovely woman). It was bad, but I repented for my sins.

Timber Ridge did beat us in basketball regularly, but here is my quandary: Is there a chance that Timber Ridge hand selected students who were 6′ plus in the 5th grade? I mean, as a magnet school that is absolutely a possibility. Since none of us have a Timber Ridge (Bessie Rhodes) year book from the years 2000-2007 we have no choice but to accept that this is unequivocally true, thus we were at a severe disadvantage from the get go.

Check. Mate.

This is in the past. As you can tell, I harbor no ill will nor do I carry the burden of resentment. I have decided to take the high road in the matter. I turned to compassion and love instead of pettiness.

Unfortunately, it takes two to bury the hatchet. During our last zoom happy hour it was evident that only us, Saint Athanasius kids (shout out my mans George), had put the pain of years of abuse on the hardwood behind us. Out of NOWHERE, Mates and Karl took it upon themselves to completely shit on St. A’s. They said our stained glass and illustrious statues were subpar, they said we looked like tools in our uniforms, and that yes, they said we sucked at basketball. For Christ (our lord and savior) sake they even claimed that we were culpable in the death of a POPE. I believe the direct quote was “You guys are so bad at basketball that your shame killed Pope John Paul II. Oh and you looked like total tools in your Land’s End brand uniforms. Aha TIMBER UP MY DUDES!”

That’s where I draw the line. As a man who loves a nice tall hat, I was shook to my core.

I could write a hit piece, taking down Mates and Karl a peg, but alas this is not how I was raised. I was raised to turn the other cheek. I was raised to be the bigger man. I was raised to show love and kindness to friends and foes alike. So, I have decided to do something a bit off brand for me. With no further ado: My Strangely Repressed Eargasms – the quintessential list of the greatest religion influenced songs of all time.

We are equal opportunists here at Indiepong so for this list it’s any religion goes affair for this list:

One Last Breath – Creed

Losing my Religion – REM

Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

Mr. Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne

With God on Our Side – Bob Dylan

The Wind – Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Listening Party: “Bell Boy” by The Moondrops

This song is so unbelievably chill. When listening I can feel someone gently massaging my scalp, while burning essential oils. My room is 50% dimmer now, and there’s a mandala tapestry hanging from my wall. 

Do I know how it got there?


Do I love it?


I’m not sure if there is an indie whisper anthem yet, but if there’s not I would like to nominate “Bell Boy”. This song envelops me like a tie-dyed satin robe. This song is a sherpa lined jacket on a cloudy 56 degree day. From the Real Estate-esque opening riff, through the 2:19 mark I am in a full-blown trance state. The song continues to pull me in closer and closer, absorbing me into its warmth and subtle power.

At the 2:19 mark the song begins to flip itself on its head. Where we once had calm and restrained whisper indie, we now have a slow burn in its place. Slowly it brings us up from our seats as it gains momentum. We keep going, as we build to our peak. Then, here it is, another Real Estate influenced riff, a little reverb for the homies, and finally the release. We coast to the end of the song, riding high on solos, distortion, and pounding drums until it all cuts out very immediately.

What a jam.

New, to facilitate some discussion please join our discord server: and if you have a song that you would like to get considered for next week’s Listening Party then send it to:

Listening Party: “It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt” by The Big Easy

Hello all! I know we are all reeling from my previous announcement of an upcoming WEEKLY piece. Well, guess what… it’s here, it’s a party, and all of you funky homosapians are invited. So, grab your shiniest hat and your slickest dancing shoes, it’s Listening Party, folks, and no party poopers are allowed! (Unless that’s your thing, then you do you. No judgement here).

“But how will Listening Party work, Daw?” you may be asking. It’s really quite simple: I’m the DJ and the party host. Each article will be about ONE song that is brand-spanking-new. At the start of the article you should play the song and read my little ditty I have written up for your consumption. Then, at your leisure, feel free to write what you think about the song, emotions it may illicit, or you can just wax poetic about whatever the hell you want on Listening Party’s discord server: With your participation, this could be really fun. Oh! And I will try and respond to as many comments as I can. Let’s see how this goes…

“It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt” is a fuzz-forward track from Brooklyn-based The Big Easy that checks every box that I’m looking for: we have some mild soloing; we have some guitar tracks overlaid each other, battling for pure track domination; and we have vocals that make me mosh just a little bit. Oh the fuzz, this track is fuzzier than Fozzi Bear. This song is so fuzzy that I got a static shot to my brain when I threw it on the first time. I can taste colors now. I’m getting hints of Harlem’s “Free Drugs ;)” or maybe even Diarrhea Planet’s “I’m Rich beyond Your Wildest Dreams” here. 

From the first second of this song you are getting taken on a ride of pounding drums and distortion soaked guitar riffs. It’s like I’m getting thrashed against boulders in a sea of punk rock. The vocals are a siren that keeps pulling me up for air only to get thrashed again. I, for one, love that shit.

The Big Easy is the brainchild of Stephen Berthomieux (guitar, bass, vocals), and their debut album A Long Year absolutely rips. “It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt” is the first track on the album and it sets the tone for what I personally think is an instant classic. On their twitter, The Big Easy referenced an article from The Alternative saying that they are “lonely stoner punk”. Though, I think this description is great, I want to take it one step further.

People, I present to you “fuzzy loner stoner punk”. And “It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt” is the master of its domain. 

If you would like to submit any new music for consideration in next week’s listening party, please send a link to

New Year, New Me (Kinda)

Hello Indie Pong Community. I would like to start off by saying Happy Friggin’ New Year! This year will be completely different. Everything will change and you know why? New calendars, people. It’s just that easy. 2020 is dead and I will for one am dancing on it’s grave.

I am someone who enjoys a good New Year’s resolution. In the past some highlights have been more spit-takes, read a book, slay (queen), etc. So, I have made a resolution this year, and I think you all should know: In 2021, I will begin to offer a short format, weekly review of new music… You heard that right folks. It’s gonna get crazy and wild. I will still offer the occasional long and drawn out article that I know we all love dearly. These will continue to come out once every month or so as I see fit.

In the past, I wanted to make sure that what I delivered were consistent and well thought out pieces, hence the time that elapsed between each article. That’s over, baby! What to expect now: stream of conciseness, copious spelling and grammatical errors, the occasional shot across the bow at anyone who I deem has disrespected Dehd (literally everyone who didn’t put Flower of Devotion as their number one indie album of the year), and, hopefully, a lot of really good new music.

Oh, and I haven’t settled on an exact day that these will be coming out so just, uh, pay attention, I guess.

With no further ado, my first edition of my weekly blog post:

Side A – Twin Peaks

Okay so new music is relative, and I’m just starting this weekly blog post so I haven’t spent as much time finding new music as I should. I reached back to July 3rd, 2020 to find this absolutely gem of an EP. The Chicago outfit of Twin Peaks have been a personal favorite of mine for a little while now. I love their sound as well as their affinity for Italian Beefs, but I mean who doesn’t love a soggy meat sandwich.

Okay, so full disclosure, I made up the Italian Beef part, but for some reason it just makes sense as this EP is an amalgam of Chicago music scene that I love so dearly, featuring the likes of Ohmme, V.V. Lightbody, and Lala Lala. This album seamlessly melds elements from each of these bands like the hot beef’s melding of meat, au jus, giardiniera, and sweet peppers. An already well-established band, Twin Peaks, created a whole EP with the sole purpose to elevate other Chicago bands. It’s really wonderful and now I’m hungry.

What’s the Matter – I’m getting some serious Dr. Dog vibes on this. It’s like they took a track off of Shame Shame and then put it through some vocal aftereffects. Also, hearing a bit of Houndmouth as well. This song is just a groove to me. Throw me in a car with the windows down and this song playing and we are good to go. Also, there’s some flute action in there which gets ya boy GOING. A very solid track that has been in continuous rotation for a bit.

Any More Than You Want – This song made it into my honorable mentions on my songs of the year list. The guitar in this song is dripping with Beatle’s influence, and I am fully here for it. If someone told me this song was recorded between 1964-1972, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised in the least bit. It’s a great example of what Twin Peaks has to offer and it is a great jumping off point for any new fan.

I hope you all enjoyed this. And to my other Indie Pong writers who did not post Flower of Devotion in your top albums of 2020, “Watch your back”. LOVE YOU!

The Real Story of the Oreo Saga

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

You know who said that George (If that’s even your real name)? A man named SOCRATES… Heard of him?

20 years ago, I threw George a lifeline. I saw him there: bright eyed and bushy tailed, rocking some of the cleanest J’s that anyone in the 847 area code had ever seen. I want to say they were Bred 11’s, but I digress. Even with all these blessings, he was looking downtrodden. You know what 9-year-old me did? I threw George a bone… or rather, a cookie.

There I was, waiting for my mans to come into ear shot so that I could hook it up big time. I cleared my throat and found the corner of the house with the most booming acoustics. “Excuse me, Jack’s mom, can I have a cookie please.” Threw Jack and George a wink, but George didn’t notice. He was drawing the most life-like cartoon of Kirk Hammett riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex that I have ever seen in my life. That puppy deserved to be in the MoMA, damnit.

Jack’s mom, an angel, blessed us all with two cookies. Then, like a madman, George took 5 COOKIES. Vengeance was swift, but fair. George went from a spoil of riches to nothing in the blink of an eye. I felt for the man, but also I was a bit of a chubby boy, and the cookies I had been allotted were already gone. It was terrible. My olive branch of kindness had been poisoned by greed.

You all may be surprised to know this, but I was an extremely well-behaved child. Always with the manners; going out of my way to never inconvenience another soul. For goodness sake, I used to ride my bike everywhere so that my parents could vibe at home without a worry in the world. To that date I didn’t have a single enemy in the world. So, you all can imagine my surprise when I found that my bike tires had been slashed… and next to my bike… A PICTURE OF KIRK HAMMETT RIDING A DAMN T-REX.

That day, I vowed vengeance.

Did I serve this vengeance right away? No, I play the long game. Let it get real real cold.

I waited almost 20 years. I followed George’s career. When he worked teaching art classes, I paid the kids off to say disparaging things about Metallica and prog rock. I bought every shoe bot that I could find to make sure that George would NEVER be able to get another pair of fresh Bred 11’s.

Then, one day I decided that I needed to see the pain on his face, as I continued to systematically tear him apart for his bicycle-based transgressions. I learned his work schedule and the liquor delivery schedule over a month’s time. Then on his day off I went to his work and racked up a four-figure tab drinking beers and gifting beers to wait staff and patrons alike. My goal, inconvenience. The wheels were in motion, I could barely sleep that night.

The next day my father and I showed up at George’s work. With me I had a list of the beers that had been 86ed the night before. One by one I ordered the beers. Each time, George looked more dejected, it fed my soul that had been rotted 20 years prior. George, on my way out you said you saw me slip the bartender some cash. You were mistaken. You know what I slipped him George?

A perfectly drawn picture of Kirk Hammett riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex that had been drawn by a very talented, albeit, very misguided young man 20 years ago.