June 18, 2007

Today's Hotness: Assembly Now, Maybe It's Reno, Vice Kills Jamaica

Assembly Now>> A friendly chap repping London indie quartet Assembly Now got in touch to say the lads had recently recorded four songs for an XFM radio session. The band is offering two of the tracks for download, including a smoking, goes-to-11 version of the single "It's Magnetic" and a more mid-tempo track "Cool To Be Kind." We were kind of hoping that latter track was mislabeled and was actually a cover of the classic Nick Lowe cut "Cruel To Be Kind" [YouTube; YouTube]. Alas, no, although the rep said he thought that might have been Assembly Now's original title for the track. Anyway, definitely check it out. And make certain to download the XFM version of "It's Magnetic." The breakneck pace of the single is there, but the live production is a bit red-lined, so that the verse practically explodes right out of the gate, driven by bass and kick drum. The lead guitar line threatens to go off the rails at one point, and singer Gavin transposes words in our favorite lyric, but that just makes this live version that much more crucial. Check the MP3s out below. Assembly Now releases its third single, "Graphs Maps & Trees," Aug. 6 on Kids. In March the band participated in our Show Us Yours feature, which you can read right here. Ass Now is gigging all through the summer in the UK; you can peruse all their live dates here.

Assembly Now -- "It's Magnetic (Live)" -- XFM Radio Session
Assembly Now -- "Cool To Be Kind (Live)" -- XFM Radio Session
[right click and save as]

>> Teenbeat Records reports an Unrest reunion of sorts in the form of the forthcoming debut from Maybe It's Reno. The prime mover in the band is former Unrest / Air Miami bassist Bridget Cross, who was also in a very early incarnation of Velocity Girl. Ms. Cross is abetted by her former Unrest bandmates on the recordings, with Phil Krauth contributing drums and Teenbeat honcho and transplanted Cantabrigian Mark Robinson playing guitar and doing other things on most of the tracks. No hard release date yet, but the set is expected to be issued this fall.

>> Those of you who took our advice from over the weekend and checked out VBS.tv's very watchable series on dancehall in Jamaica: we heard from a fellow at Vice who wanted to make sure we knew about a 48-minute megamix of tunes that includes tracks from many of the artists featured in the series. We've listened to about half of it so far, and if you have any interest in dancehall (we love some of the wilder production, but know very little about dancehall in general) you should download this mix and throw it in your IPod or onto a CD-R. All manner of big beats and blunted toasting, dub plate touting and just general party vibes. Some of the stuff is pretty explicit, so it may not be the sort of thing you'll want to rock while driving your kids to gymnastics, or whatever kids do these days. Here's the (gigantic) MP3, with the track list below the link -- we're not sure what the file title is about, but this is what it says when it drops into your ITunes.

Restation Is A Must! -- "Vice Kills Ja!" -- Michael Raphael's Album

Mavado -- "Even If Dem Kill Me"
Einstein -- "Rise Di Machines"
Mavado -- "Amazing Grace"
Asassin and Mr. Easy -- "Big Man Ting"
Timberlee and Ward 21 -- "Bubble Like Soup"
Chico -- "Let's Get It On"
Vybz Kartel -- "Beat'n Beat'n"
Mr. Vegas -- "Nuh Fight Over Man"
Elephant Man -- "Bring It Come"
Leftside and Esco -- "The Tribute"
Sizzla -- "Pum Pum Hard"
Sizzla -- "Nuh Apology"
Sizzla -- "Fix Dem Business"
Sizzla -- "Ain't Gonna See Us Fall"
Pressure -- "Love and Affection"
Spice -- "Tight Pussy Gyal"
Mega Banton -- "Grindin"
Leftside and Esco -- "Tuck In Yuh Belly"
Voicemail -- "Informer"
Mr. Vegas -- "Nuh Frien From Dem"
Mavado -- "Shotta Nuh Miss"
Mavado -- "Dying"
Mavado -- "Me And My Dogs"
Jr. Gong -- "Something For You"
Akon -- "Don't Matter"
Busy Signal -- "Shoot Nuh Miss"
Vybz Kartel -- "Cyan Cook"
Bounty Killer -- "Try Fi Stop Killa"

>> Philly-based indie rock sensations The A-Sides just announced a slate of tour dates leading up to the release of their sophomore record and Vagrant Records debut. We're posting the dates below. Vagrant will release The A-Sides' Silver Storms Aug. 28, which we hope means that promos should be sent out sometime soon. We've been waiting a long time to hear this one. We might have posted some of these dates already, but what are you gonna do? We've never seen these guys live before, so we're obviously pretty excited about that Boston date.

06.20 -- Darkhorse Tavern -- State College, PA
06.21 -- The Nite Owl -- Dayton, OH
06.22 -- Schubas -- Chicago, IL
06.23 -- Continental Switchyard Festival -- Chicago, IL
07.20 -- XPN/YROCK Festival -- Camden, NJ
08.07 -- Black Cat -- Washington, DC
08.08 -- Middle East -- Cambridge, MA
08.30 -- Record Release at Johnny Brenda's -- Philadelphia, PA
09.02 -- Test Pattern -- Scranton, PA

>> We were pleased to learn that one of our favorite up-and-coming acts has a new label deal in place. It is still unannounced and the information was off the record. But we wanted to write this so that when Pitchfork gets the exclusive in a couple months, we can link back to this item and say, "yeah, we knew that." The interesting thing about the deal, and we don't think this is giving anything away, is that the band had initially been scouted by this label five years ago. So there you go, several worthless sentences about how we know stuff.

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