August 15, 2005

"1-2-3 And I Come With the Wicked Style"

To paraphrase The Hold Steady, Junkmedia's got something in its sweatpants. And today we're showing it off. Welcome to the redesigned publication, and welcome to our weblog World of Sound. Here we aim to offer more background, context and opinion to complement the features and reviews we've been slinging for the last few years. World of Sound is brewing up a slate of its own features that will gently roll out over the next few weeks, so keep checking in. Want to get in touch with World of Sound? Send an email to jay at junkmedia dot org.

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

You Heard It Here Second: Animal Collective, Holopaw

Relatively fresh streams abound. You can hear samples of three cuts from the forthcoming Animal Collective record Feels [Fat Cat], which streets in two months, over here at the Boomkat site. Thanks to Stereogum for the link. Fluxblog here posted an additional Animal Collective cut, "Grass," last week and claims the new material is much more accessible than the band's earlier efforts. The samples we heard were delicate, dense and melodic all at the same time -- it doesn't get too much better than that, right? Of the three, we enjoyed "Loch Raven" most, but it all sounds solid. If you can't wait around to develop your own take, access the thoughts, feelings and opinions of the hive mind of ILM here. Elsewhere, Catbirdseat points us to a stream of the new Holopaw record, which is hosted over here at Subpop.

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

Pick Up The Phone

Seriously, just how long have you been waiting for the day when technology finally caught up with your searing desire to have At The Drive-In's "Invalid Litter Dept." as the ringtone on your cellphone? Or Tullycraft's "Superboy and Supergirl"? Rejoice, rejoice people, because two companies, Xingtone and Digital Rights Agency, have partnered to launch a service called Bliptones that will let you inflict your favorite brand of nerd rock on all those poor commercial radio-fed drones you have to ride the subway with every time your shizzy blows up on your hip. All you need is a compatible phone, a service provider who is on board (it looks there are seven big ones in North America) and two bucks per ringtone. Think this is a stupid idea? Believe it or not, ringtones were a four-billion dollar business globally last year -- Sasha said so. So why not cut Bratmobile in on a little chunk of the action? While there is a Death Cab tone among the 200 or so for sale, there is an obvious glaring omission: how can a service called Bliptones not offer anything from The Postal Service? [Via]

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

Where's The Show: Slow Dazzle

World of Sound is going to play favorites, at least a little bit. We've got some favorites, we're proud of it, let's accept we're going to talk about 'em here and move along. One of said favorites is The Mendoza Line, that rag-tag bunch of indie rockers loosely based in Brooklyn. And in case you haven't been paying attention, Mendoza Line principles Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle put their heads together in the past year or so for a project called Slow Dazzle. The pair concocted a haunting little charmer called The View from the Floor [MP3s here] for Misra Records and they are on the road right now promoting it. Eight dates remain. So where's the show?

8/15 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Garfield Artworks
8/16 -- Columbus, OH -- Andyman’s Treehouse
8/18 -- Minneapolis, MN -- 7th St. Entry
8/19 -- Des Moines, IA -- Vaudeville Mews
8/20 -- Urbana, IL -- Canopy Club
8/21 -- Chicago, IL -- Schuba’s
8/22 -- Madison, WI -- High Noon Saloon
8/23 -- St. Louis, MO -- Way Out Club

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

Here I Am Outside Your House At 3AM

We were minding our own business and reading Stereogum's bit about a big rock and roll festival in Staten Island and Brooklyn in early October when we were struck by one name in the line-up: The Lemonheads. Wha? Apparently frontman Evan Dando brought the act (which has not released a record in nine years), or at least the moniker, out of retirement about 10 days ago for a Spanish festival date. This news according to our reputable friends over at NME. Based on the set list for the festival show, it doesn't look like Dando is playing any material from records prior to It's A Shame About Ray, unfortunately. If we were in charge of that All Tomorrow's Parties doohickey this year where bands are playing classic albums front to back, we'd have front row seats for a run through Lick with the band's classic line-up. Oh well.

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]


-=- Reuters reports on a new service called BurnLounge that aims to make every Tom, Dick and Harry an online music retailer. AP counters with a story detailing newly stoked but very old fears in the retail music industry about CD burning. Remember when you had CDs? Man, that was weird. Anyway, in the AP piece the RIAA claims burned CDs accounted for almost a third of all recorded music obtained by fans in 2004, almost twice as much as the amount attributed to downloads from file-sharing networks.

-=- Pfork rhapsodizes over Dinosaur Jr.'s recent Detroit performance here.

-=- IndieWorkshop boils down the rumours around major label group EMI's impending announcement of a purchase of Wind-Up Records, which is interesting to us primarily because Wind-Up used to be Grass [The Wrens offer a history lesson on that here]. Grass Records put out some great records including Loomis' You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow. The album has a perfect leadoff cut, "Conquistador." Try to track it down. Grass also released Wrens stuff, which is also noted in the IndieWorkshop piece, and which most everybody knows via living through it or due to the band's strong resurgence. For a fuller account, read Pitchfork's fairly well-reported recent item.

-=- Chromewaves notes here that a new Belle and Sebastian biography Just A Modern Rock Story is in the racks, and amusingly wonders how interesting a book might be about a throng of quiet, bookish recluses.

-=- Hey, Bauhaus reformed. Jeez, this reunion stuff is getting exhausting.

[originally published at World of Sound]

August 12, 2005

"I was dressed for success, but success it never comes." - Pavement.

Well friends, change is afoot. The Junkmedia blog we will be writing and editing is slated to launch Monday, barring any unforseen difficulties on the technical side. It is called World of Sound, and if you have been reading Clicky Clicky for any length of time, we think you'll enjoy it. There are going to be new features, and we hope that some of you will lend a hand with some of them when time permits. It's been a pleasure blogging for you here, and there may occasionally be some posts here whenever we feel the need to talk about something that wouldn't quite fit over at World of Sound. Anyhoo, come Monday why not come check out our new digs at Junkmedia? We're linked prominently in the lower left hand corner.

UPDATE: Here is a hard link to the blog that actually works right now, now being an hour or two before the actual Junkmedia relaunch. So if you want a sneak peek, or if you are reading this tomorrow the peek is not as sneaky, here is Junkmedia's World of Sound.

That is all.

August 10, 2005

"I'm all that's left of this awful mess." - Meneguar.

Sorry, no stuff tonight or tomorrow night. The parents are coming through town. Back this weekend.

- The Management.

August 9, 2005

"Please dontcha speak to me, you see I'm just the temp." - Meneguar. hypes the new Mobius Band record, which streeted today. The Spin piece notes the very solid new tune "Twilight" from said record, which relates the woes of working the shitty jobs musicians are forced to take in order to make a living. We enjoy the song plenty, but a few minutes ago we got the word from our man El Stengelero, and he had the data on some new stuff from an act called Meneguar. One of the Meneguar tunes, "The Temp" [available at the band's web site but not at their MySpace hizzy] is the clear leader in contemporary shit-job related songs.

Meneguar who? Exactly. We've missed the boat on this too up until now. Apparently Meneguar is a reformulation of Sheryl's Magnetic Aura, who put out a great self-titled EP a few years back that we reviewed for Splendid here. The EP has one incredible, five-star jam called "Making New Friends." You should make it a priority to track this song down, it's hopping. According to the Meneguar web site Sheryl's stagnated, so the principals rebranded in early 2004 and went back to the drawing board with what sounds like an equally rocking, if somewhat more agressive post-emo agenda. Yes, a Haywood reference is warranted here, and you'll note we snuck one into our Sheryl's review.

Meneguar starts a mini-tour tomorrow, and if we had any sort of ambition we would drive out to Florence, MA to see them. But we can't even work up the ambition to see Voxtrot in Somerville tomorrow, so that seems unlikely. Anyway, kudos Stengelero, you got a nose for the American Good Rock.



Pfork has an awesome interview with the Silver Jews, a/k/a Dave Berman, who actually discusses his own earnings. You know how we like the numbers. Berman made $45K in 2001, the last year he made a record. That is pretty darn good for an indie musician. Going back to topics discussed above related to shit jobs -- that is pretty good money. Maybe music does pay? There are plenty of threads over at ILM that talk about how prominent rockers still sling ink at Kinko's and the like. We're glad Berman has a good year every now and again. And that he has gotten clean.

Wow, this is an interesting one: stalwart indie rock labels Spin-Art and Lookout! are some of the newest members of the RIAA, according to the very attentive CatbirdSeat.

The Waves That Are Chrome point us to a great collection of RIDE videos. Where? Why, of course. Awesome.

That is all.

August 8, 2005

"You're not the one who let me down, but thanks for offering." - Archers of Loaf.

If you've been wondering, like we have, what the hell became of Brainwashed's relaunch of The Brain, here is the explanation. It has to do with ones and zeroes and lawyers and money and stuff. Also, according the the site, this Friday's Colleen show is not at Great Scott, but at PA's Lounge. With Keith Fullerton Whitman toplining, to boot. Hot diggity.

Fluxblog, who hasn't really had much that has interested us for what seems like months, takes some time out to criticize Death Cab. Always nice when someone clearly states a contrarian viewpoint. We aren't nearly the Death Cab fans we were when We Have The Facts came out, and we are very unmoved by the tracks we've heard from the new album, but we're still down with The Cab. Stereogum reports the record has finally leaked to P2P and readers offer their thoughts here.

According to this news item at IndieWorkshop, the Cure are recording this fall and aim for a release next April. Hard to get excited about a release from a band who hasn't really done anything we've liked for 13 years. But hope springs eternal. We were particularly excited when the band downsized to a trio over the spring, but that didn't last, unfortunately.

Apple's ITunes store for the Japanese market sold a million tunes in four days, according to this AP dispatch. Japan is considered the third largest music market, or at least it used to be, but we guess there really is something to be said for the culture's affinity for technology -- it took a week for ITunes to sell a million tunes in the U.S. Apple must be especially pleased because they are selling songs for between $1.35 and $1.80 (converted from Yen). Fatter margins, fatter pockets, Jobs-dizzle.

We're a couple weeks behind on this one, but Billboard reported in late July that a lender who had loaned TVT Records some money in exchange for certain rights to catalog titles was auctioning off said rights. Things on the proverbial auction block include unspecified rights to Nine Inch Nails' amazing debut, Pretty Hate Machine. Wierd, huh?

That is all.

August 7, 2005

"Hit me like you did the first time, come on now." - The Flaming Lips.

Eagle-eyed indie rock provocateur The Bster, who is newly deracinated and re-installed in North Carolina, reports in that both Haywood and Haywood's primary songwriter Ted Pauly (f/k/a here as Reader #6) have both taken up residence on MySpace. Obviously we are pretty excited. Not that there is too much there that we haven't heard.

But there is a new (to us anyway) Pauly tune "Still Wanna Know" that is typically solid. And just the fact that folks not already in the loop can hear here Ted's shatteringly poignant summation of post-adolescence/young adulthood (and Haywood's final show), "Dear Philadelphia," is really great, and its a different recording than the one we'd ascertained previously. The song is a gem. Perhaps most exciting of all is it seems like the recently recorded posthumous Haywood stuff may finally have a venue, albeit informal, at the Haywood page. One new song is already there, though if you dropped coin on the Music.For-Robots comp you've already heard it. Anyway, both pages have great songs, many of them all-time Clicky Clicky favorites: "Ogden" (!), "Crosswords" and "Your Bag." Those who haven't heeded our exhortations to search out the 'Wood previously have no excuse now. Don't disappoint.

In other news of the Philadelphia of a time gone past, former mouthpiece and all around quality guy Matty Graves sends word that Rhapsody has finally obtained the Lilys catalogue. He does a great job of hyping the band's debut long-player here. Seriously, if you don't have this record you are sort of a loser. Sorry. Those are the rules.

We noticed that Amazon beleives The Get Quick record drops 8/23, not 8/9 as promised. It is worth pointing out that Amazon's price is $15.99, while we paid a mere $7.97. Of course, the record hasn't shown up yet, and we have a wierd feeling this record may not even be coming out, since there is no hype, besides our own, to speak of. The Rainbow Quartz web site has no updates since last spring and The Get Quick web site is still just barely there. Quizzical.

We got another email about the Sigur Ros record, this one from Geffen. Dear Geffen: have one of your code jockeys compare your mailing list to the band's UK label, or vice versa, and shake out the overlap -- your duplicate efforts are taking up valuable space in our Junkmedia email box that could be better used for Cialis solicitations from suspicious foreigners.

UPDATE: Dear Internet -- in addition to the Rocketship single "Hey Hey Girl," which nobody has helped us out with yet, we are also very interested in getting Blonde Redhead's "Jetstar," particularly the version found on Zero Hour's Threadwaxing Space comp. Please.

That is all.

August 6, 2005

"Give me a reason that you won't stay." - Small Factory.

There is an ever so scant update at the Chocolate Hearts website about the forthcoming Hi-Soft EP. There isn't much news, or at least nothing that we hadn't heard previously as speculation on the WHYME? podcast, but basically the release will be a five-song EP and it is "coming soon." The update also mentions a new release for the label by a band called The Snow Fairies, who apparently sound like Heavenly and Clicky Clicky all-time-favorite Small Factory. So we hope to check that out at some point.

We don't think we are speaking out of school when we say we have been told that the Junkmedia relaunch, and attendant launch of the Junkmedia blog World of Sound that we will be writing and editing, is slated for August 22nd. So get psyched.

A dispatch from FatCat we received in our newly resuscitated Junkmedia mailbag describes what sounds like a pretty captivating electronic release from the duo of Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko. In FatCat's opinion "the album is a beautiful marriage of sweet female vocals alongside pristine, lusciously textured and layered electronics, and some great beat programming." Sounds pretty good, right? You can listen to a few samples here. It's sort of Vespertine-ish, in a good way.

The 'Nac's big update this past week featured a bunch of live MP3s from a number of acts including Charlene, for whom Mr. Almanac himself now drums. Anyway, the two Charlene cuts posted are "Ripoff," a real standout cut from the act's 2002 self-titled release on SharkAttack!, and "The Way of Things." We recommend downloading the latter because it is unreleased as of yet and it is a great song. While it is a close cousin to "Ripoff," it also frankly is a spitting image of the best Kitchens of Distinction stuff. And that is not too shabby in our book. Do check it out.

ClipTip, one of our newest stops during the day, has a link to a pretty nice Schneider TM video. We don't think Schneider TM gets enough props, but perhaps after you watch the video you will be more prone to hand 'em over.

Coolfer has some insight into confusion at Sony BMG in a post-Payola settlement world.

That is all.

August 4, 2005

"The way I used to love you that's the way I hate you now." - Replacements.

It seems odd that we are first hearing about the latest Via Tania single from Splendid, which is typically weeks behind the release curve by dint of its policy of reviewing every submission. When did Via Tania stop being cool? Or maybe Splendid's Chicago location gives them the inside track on the release? Well, maybe not, The Beat Surrender based out of the U.K. has a review here.

OK, so we found a stream of the new Sigur Ros at Scenestars today and had the same reaction to it as we have had to their earlier records. It is musically really great (especially the huge, soaring parts of "Glsli" and "Saeglopur"), but we can never get past the lyrics, which are apparently in a made-up language. A very pleasant record to listen to, absolutely. But it took us most of the afternoon to not get irked by the vocals to a certain extent. With the vocals stripped out someone could make a pretty good case for the music being very close to the stuff on Kompakt's Pop Ambient comp series. And that's pretty good.

Stypod today has a great bit devoted to Big Youth, a reggae artist whose influence permeated a lot of British punk (The Clash) and post-punk (PIL). Worth reading.

Finally, a list of hot upcoming rock shows. We'll definitely see Mobius Band and Mendoza Line. Everything else is on the bubble, although we'd really like to see Colleen and The Hold Steady, too.

8/10 Voxtrot
8/12 Colleen
8/14 Texas Governor

9/6 Mobius Band
9/8 Mendoza Line
9/8 Bloc Party
9/11 Hold Steady
9/14 Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah
9/19 Hockey Night
9/22 The Teeth
9/22 Royskopp

That is all.

August 3, 2005

"Hey, won't you get out of bed now?" - Mock Orange.

Five dozen visitors yesterday? Really? We weren't even fielding our A squad. Oh well. We're sure it won't happen again.

For eons we've had a email alias that was sposed to redirect Junkmedia mail to us. Well, we guess it never worked, because the Junkmedia Bossman re-set up the box recently and gave us web access to it and we get all sorts of mail there. Most of it spam, but some of it useful.

Feriggzampull, we're not much for Sigur Ros, just never really allocated the time, but we got mail from their label saying what's up. We guess IndieWorkshop is on the same email list, since they posted the info. You can just go read up on the Sigsters over there. But in case anybody out there has been using "jay at junkmedia dot org" to try to send us mail in the last couple years, sorry we didn't get back to you. But we promise we'll be good from here on out.

We loved the movie Dig!, but we never really got The Brian Jonestown Massacre -- pretty boring stuff, innit? Anyway, Philebrity thinks they blow too. So hooray for everybody.

Shake Your Fist gives much-deserved props to the A-Sides here. The recently revived Indie Kids has a new Mobius Band cut here [the title track to The Loving Sounds of Static, which streets next week, is still the best of the new cuts we've heard].

Lopez is watching Veronica Mars, which just used Notwist's "Pick Up The Phone" in the opening sequence. Life is getting pretty wierd like that.

That is all.

August 2, 2005

"Tell me why I love the weather, tell my why I love the weather." - Lefty's Deceiver.

Coolfer does some pretty extensive research into what is going on with Fiona Apple's unreleased Extraordinary Machine, which, if you haven't been paying attention, is something of a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot kind of phenomenon at this point. Tons of interesting information at the link. Something we really enjoy about Coolfer's vantage point on things is that it consistently emphasizes the importance of the retail angle, something that is typically ignored in music coverage and has been somewhat more downplayed since the advent of the .MP3. Anyway, Coolfer doesn't disappoint here, and ends with a barrage of provocative questions. (For those who don't recall, we love the title track to "Extraordinary Machine," along with most anything that Jon Brion has had a hand in making.)

Target has some sort of incredibly involved online lifestyler ad campaign that features The Hold Steady, Bloc Party and a bunch of other hip bands. They are running the ad at Pfork -- we wonder if that is their biggest advertiser ever, besides the major labels, of course. Anyway, it looks kind of interesting, it's got a bunch of episodes that go live at weekly intervals. We are sure it is basically just Felicity with a bunch of indie rock in it, but that's better than regular old (or no) Felicity, innit?

Splendid gives Amusement Parks On Fire's self-titled record the feature review treatment. We've heard some of this on the Internets and it is good.

That is all.

August 1, 2005

"I've been away since Friday and you don't know the way." - Dinosaur Jr.

M.F-R has a cut from the forthcoming Mobius Band record and says some nice things about it here. The song featured, "I Just Turned 18," is one of the numbers that bassist Peter Sax sings, and he seems to have found a really nice key for his voice to work in here. An older number of his, "Compass," had a vocal that was at the top of his range and he often had to work to really hit it throughout. "18" reveals a whole new, stronger vocal side for him.

The song itself [hard link to M.F-R file] is heavy on the electronics, and fits well within the rest of the Ghostly International label aesthetic. We still prefer the big guitar stuff Mobius Band kicks, or at least the more guitar-oriented stuff, but "I Just Turned 18" shows a new side of the band, and it is nice to hear a surprise from a band we've followed closely for three years.

Looky here, Parasol has its own one sheet for the Get Quick record, which reveals some new details about what to expect. How The Story Goes was recorded at Sear Sound with vintage gear, some of which was previously in Abby Road studios. Anyway, there's more references at the link to acts including ELO and the Beatles and other stuff. Oh yeah, the listing for How The Story Goes now has been amended to note that they only have "limited inventory" of the record and that "sell out risk" is "very high." What, did they only print ten copies of this record?

So now, according to Chromewaves, the forthcoming Strokes record is slated to drop on our birthday. So you are all going to have to coordinate on who gets it for us, cause, you know, one is probably enough.

That is all.