"Love everybody, it's alright." - MantaRay.
So we promised some discussion of MantaRay, the longtime Philadelphia power-pop combo comprised of a core trio of Radnasty alumni, and now apparently featuring erstwhile Kam Fong drummer Mike Boran on guitar as well. The act is fronted by Erik Evol, and the rhythm section (last we checked) was comprised of able rockers Chris Hate and Mitch Joy. There are two proper MantaRay releases, MantaRay Gives The World Away [scroll down] and The Betty Poperetta, and apparently there are hundreds of unreleased songs, as well. You know how Clicky Clicky goes nuts for the unreleased stuff. Anyhoo, the MantaRay web site went dead some time back, but we've catalogued some related links in an earlier post that we can't find now. A short trip to Google will provide you with pretty much all there is to know available in the public sphere.
MantaRay's live act was really strong, and the band had a lot of fun running all their songs together into various "chunks" which were interspersed with Hendricks-esque (at least in theory, if not in execution, not to take anything away from the band) electric seques that were pretty remarkable to experience. From 400 miles away it is pretty hard to figure out what is up with the band, but we are pleased to hear they are still gigging. Anyone who might have any unreleased recordings of the band feel free to get in touch.
Betty Poperetta was recorded primarily at Kam Fong's Anti-Studio in Norristown, PA, and we are fortunate to have a few cuts on hand that didn't make it onto the record, including the band's popular, or at least once quite popular, "Saturday (Norristown)." The version offered here is different than the couple arrangements the band used live in the dozens of times we saw them. This version in particular shines the spotlight on former Fugitive of Funk multi-instrumentalist Ernie Whyte's sax playing. Enjoy.
Bob Mould links to an article about the death of dynamic range, something the Noizers and we discussed earlier this month at Brighaaaam's. A really illuminating piece. "Thus, when aggressive peak clipping is used, the record company is DESTROYING part of the music."
We've heard the Bloc Party record, and we like it. We hate when the hype is even just partly justified. Same thing happened to us with The Futureheads. Elsewhere: the new White Stripes single sounds like The Darkness. The new Okkervil River tune posted recently at Fluxblog or thereabouts is really good.
We've been remiss in noting that the Farmhands' web site has launched. It is still sort of in beta, but it gives a sense of what the band is about. The site has three MP3s, have a listen why don't you?
Brighaaaam has added a blog, errr, non-blog, to the place where Dave Brigham meets Dot Com. A good place to go for ruminations from a fan of Slidemyfavoritelocalbandslide, Phantom Tollbooth, M.D.C. and the like.
That is all.