>> We find Hoboken, NJ-based New London Fire's "Different" exhilarating, the kind of track that would make plain a lot of emotional information all at once if used as part of the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie. "Different" has roots planted firmly in songs such as '80s technopop act Alphaville's overwhelmingly poignant "Forever Young" and Kitchens Of Distinction's chilling downer "What Happens Now?" [Or is New London Fire some sort of misshapen Frankenstein's monster comprised of parts of A Flock Of Seagulls and Squeeze? No matter.] We distinctly remember hearing that Alphaville track at one of our first high school dances and being elated by the over-the-top romanticism and huge melody. "Different" gives us a bit of that feeling, too (we're far too old and jaded now to feel more than just that bit). But when we listen to the "Different," over and over and over because it's great and surprisingly hard to shake, we want so badly to tweak the production, adjusting reverb, changing guitar tone, going for a chunkier keyboard sound. We're definitely showing our bias for indie rock production here, but one nice thing about "Different" is that it reminds us of a lot of songs from a time when we didn't overanalyze every piece of music that has the misfortune of crossing our desk. You can stream the entire record "Different" came from, I Sing The Body Holographic -- released on Eyeball Records last August, at the band's Virb page here. Here's "Different."
New London Fire --
>> We're gradually working through all of the TouchRadio podcasts. We started with the most recent episode, realized we'd been missing out on the sort of thing we used to love about listening to non-commercial radio, and began at the beginning. So far we are up to TouchRadio2, which we are listening to now, and it is awesome. Just slowly phasing 60-cycle hum, sporadic digital chirps, what sounds like surface noise of a needle going across a piece of vinyl, crickets... what at first blush sounds like what noise is both surprisingly textured and rhythmic as well as intensely relaxing. Our friends' new baby loves the ocean noise generating doohickey they play for her when she sleeps. We wonder how she would dig Stockholm-based Carl Michael von Hausswolff's track "As Quiet As Campfire or Analogue Motoric And Electro-Magnetic Silence Disturbed By Intuitive Slumber." Because we are loving it. The cut was originally released on limited edition vinyl on Ash International in February 1997, with "Mingling Or Dodekaphonic Drones Interfered By Known And Unknown Digital Phenomena" (presumably on the flipside, and, incidentally, much too ominous to be played for an infant). You can find a link to TouchRadio2, which contains both tracks, at the bottom of this page.
>> Legendary singer Morrissey is entertaining thoughts of signing a recording contract from Warner Bros. Although, instead of making a new record he might tour New Zealand, South Africa, Scandinavia, Israel and Iran instead. Yeah, Iran. This according to an item at the NME here. Morrissey, you so crazy. The former Smiths fronter's most recent solo set, 2006's Ringleader Of The Tormentors, is among his best solo records to date. Morrissey is in Boston next week, but unfortunately we're going to be out of town. Rats.
>> We were pleased to see Pitchfork report here that Maritime, the indie pop act that includes former members of erstwhile third-wave emo standouts The Promise Ring, will issue a new record in October. The quartet will issue the twelve-song set Heresy And The Hotel Choir on Flameshovel Oct. 16. It's the band's third set, although we're only familiar with the sophomore set We, The Vehicles, which produced the excellent rocker below, among many others. We reviewed the hot track "Tearing Up The Oxygen," from the same record, right here in March 2006.
>> Art DiFuria's fabulous psych-pop act The Photon Band will finally issue the digital-only EP Get Down Here In The Stratosphere July 3. It contains outtakes from the longtime Philly project's forthcoming set, Back Down To Earth, and will be available via the usual digital storefronts. No hard release date on that full length just yet. For those of you privileged enough to actually live in Philadelphia, you can see The Photon Band at Johnny Brenda's both this Friday and also Aug. 18.
>> Birmingham, UK-based mad scientists of noise pop Johnny Foreigner have a new web site. Remember when web site launches were the stuff of news? Crazy. Anyway, here's the site, which has a bunch of free MP3s of older tracks, and promises more in the future.