January 29, 2007

From The Admin Cubicle: A Short Break [Updated]

Bus Of RockAloha readers. We'll be taking the rest of the month off to take care of some business. Expect your regular :: clicky clicky :: programming to resume Thursday or Friday. UPDATE: It's been a crazy week with multiple birthdays and a funeral and air travel and work, and we still have a road trip and the Super Bowl before the week winds down. So we're going to just stay on this short break until Monday. See you then.

January 28, 2007

Forget To Remember To Forget The Mendoza Line [MP3]

Tim Bracy of the Mendoza Line[PHOTO CREDIT] For the umpteenth time we have checked the Mendoza Line and Misra web sites to see if there is any new information out there about a forthcoming EP and hits collection. And for the umpteenth time we have come up empty. Not that we personally need a Mendoza Line hits collection, as we have all the domestic releases in one form or another bar one, the very out-of-print and therefore pricy used item I Like You When You're Not Around, which was released by the now defunct Kindercore Records at the end of the last century. Well, bar two, because we don't have the spruced-up reissue of Poems To A Pawnshop, 2003's If They Knew This Was The End.

But anyway, if we were charged with putting together a Mendoza Line hits collection, we most certainly would title it "I Hope That You Remember To Forget," which is the name of an amazing and crushing track on 2000's We're All In This Alone. Given the attention the band has attracted with its most recent, trad-leaning releases, we think it is important to point out to newbies or to remind whoever might be concatenating the aforementioned hits collection that the Mendoza Line went through an exciting and relatively experimental period with Alone. We are not sure we can make a compelling argument that one Mendoza Line style is better than another, but if we had to choose a favorite record, it would be that one. To tide you and us over until Bracy and McArdle et al. get those new releases in the racks, here's "I Hope That You Remember To Forget." And as an added bonus, we'll link to a download of the downright spooky "Mysterious In Black" that the band is offering at its MySpace cabin. And would you look at that, the Mendoza Line is finally represented on YouTube -- hit the link below for a video of the band performing "It's A Long Line (But It Moves Quickly)" in Pittsburgh.

The Mendoza Line -- "I Hope That You Remember To Forget" -- We're All In This Alone
The Mendoza Line -- "Mysterious In Black" -- Full Of Light And Full Of Fire
[just click]

The Mendoza Line: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 26, 2007

This Week's Hotness: American Hardcore, Bad Brains, Bloc Party

American Hardcore>> The awesome documentary "American Hardcore" will be released on DVD Feb. 20. The disc features 90 minutes of additional material including extra interviews, live performances, photos and commentary from the filmmaker. You can already pre-order the DVD from Amazon here as well as at the web sites of numerous other traditionally brick-and-mortar outfits. We reviewed the theatrical release of "American Hardcore" when it screened in Boston in October here. We also wrote about the film in September and July.

>> Speaking of seminal American hardcore music, the original lineup of Bad Brains will indeed release a new record this year. According to this interview with bassist Daryl Jennifer at Late Night Wallflower, Build A Nation will be released by Megaforce this spring. The set was produced by Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch. Bad Brains will play select dates, but will not embark on a full tour to support the set. [Via Pun Canoes]

>> Domino Records will release a new collaboration between Kieran Hebden (Fourtet) and drummer Steve Reid March 19. The set is called Tongues and it apparently features shorter tracks than those captured on the collection of improvisations the duo released last year titled The Exchange Session. Here's a little promo clip.

>> Folks who pre-order the forthcoming Bloc Party record on ITunes will receive two bonus tracks delivered along with the set when A Weekend In The City is officially released Feb. 6. The non-album cuts are "Cain Said To Abel" and "Atonement." Also included with pre-orders are the video for the British post-punk quartet's "I Still Remember," and one of those digital booklets that we don't think anybody ever actually looks at.

>> We were so short on time this week we didn't get a chance to make mention of the news that Dinosaur Jr. has inked with Fat Possum, and the label will release the first new record of the trio's reunited original lineup since the late '80s. The set is called Beyond and it will be released May 1. A much-anticipated live DVD capturing performances from the band's first couple legs of its reunion tour will also be released in May. Billboard has all the details here.

>> Finally, if you missed our latest star turn in the print media, check out this Boston Globe article about Tourb.us and Tourfilter. We get the second quote. We hope to scan the hard-copy version of the article and post it in the sidebar with our other press mentions sometime soon.

January 25, 2007

That Was The Show That Was: Qui | Thee Emergency | Black Fur

Qui, Safari Sam's, Jan. 5, 2007[PHOTO CREDIT | Indie rock vagabond Lars Ro, one of our oldest friends, returns to the electronic pages of :: clicky clicky :: with this performance review. Mr. Ro is a veteran of numerous indie acts, the longest-running being Sfu-ma-to; he also operates Purr Mama Resistor Records, which has gone through a series of name changes of late. Ro previously offered first-person reportage of the triumphant Touch + Go 25th Anniversary Weekend for us here, here and here. -- Ed.]

Noise rock juggernaut Qui (pronounced 'kwee', a.k.a. guitarist Matt Cronk, drummer Paul Christiansen and David Yow -- yep, that's David Yow, the ex-Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid howler -- on vocals) plugged in Tuesday night at The Scene in Glendale, CA, and blew us away with 10 successive power surges. The set included eight originals, Jesus Lizard's "Glamorous" (I was beside myself with exuberant, moshpit joy) and the funniest cover of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" I think the world has ever seen. Mr. Christiansen focused on his impeccable, high-precision, math-rock drumming while clad in telemarketer/air traffic controller headphones complete with the little microphone bar. Meanwhile, Mr. Cronk's hair flailed around and sweat flowed as he nailed chords and licks you know he has practiced for countless sleepless nights. Mr. Yow slipped back into his Grand Ol' Entertainer role (as if a decade hadn't gone by since I last saw him on stage): the pants were unbuttoned and allowed to tantalizingly slip downwards an inch or three [We saw more of Yow than we ever needed to at a 1994 Jesus Lizard/Helmet show in Jersey. -- Ed.]; a half-smoked cigarette (on stage! In California!) was flicked into the wall (emitting a shower of sparks); the mic stands spent more time horizontal than vertical; and several songs were summed up with a "That was really good." I'm pleased as punch (or sangria, even) that Yow has decided to re-enter the world of the rock singer, and that he has found an extremely tight and talented band to play with in Qui, which was founded as a duo in 2000 and plans to issue a sophomore set with Yow later this year.

Opening the evening was Los Angeles' own Black Fur. If the band is reading this, I sincerely hope you are not offended by my mentioning Hole and Courtney Love as a point of reference. I'm sure I'm not the first person to make this comparison, and it's the easiest way I can think of to orient readers to your sound. Even if Black Fur's fist-pumping and entertaining melodies, harmonies, chords, overdriven bass lines and solos were to disappear into the ether, the band would still be worth checking out just for the sheer intensity of Louis Wylie's drumming, which even knocked him off his drum stool at one point. Also supporting was Seattle's Thee Emergency, who took the stage with no intention of letting up the rock. Their sound is a bit more '70s-leaning than Black Fur's '90s-tinged tunes, but jams were duly kicked out nonetheless. The band careened around the stage while the amply-lunged (the respiratory organ, not the verb) Dita Vox plunged into the audience and worked the main floor during my favourite song of their set ("Cream," I believe). The tune is a building, soulful song which Janis Joplin and Big Brother And The Holding Company would be proud of. -- Lars Ro

Qui -- "Apartment"
Qui -- "New Orleans"
[just click]

Qui: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 23, 2007

Review: "Half-Cocked" DVD [MP3]

Half-CockedTwelve years on, "Half-Cocked" is as crucial a document of a small slice of the pre-Internet indie rock scene as Michael Azerrad's book "Our Band Could Be Your Life" is of the pre-major label, pre-FM-embraced alternative rock scene. It captures a time when lunkheads actually called alternative kids "art f*g" (an uncontested put-down delivered in the film's fifth minute), if you can believe it. A time when access to a copy machine with which to run off free copies of show flyers was a big deal. No one uses cell phones. And it's true -- there are no references to the Internet.

"Half-Cocked," shot in grainy, high-contrast black and white and previously only available via a VHS release in 1997, opens with legendary angular rockers Rodan's moving instrumental "Bible Silver Corner." The story itself celebrates the DIY indie scene of the early '90s in Louisville. It centers on a squat populated by self-styled musicians and artists with anti-haircuts strewn about on thrift store furniture, smoking and shooting Polaroids, slacker than the slackers in "Slacker." The plot focuses on a subset of disaffected youth, led by Tara Jane O'Neil, that absconds with a van full of music gear and subsequently passes themselves off as a touring indie rock act in order to avoid facing up to O'Neil's brother (hysterically played by Nation Of Ulysses'/Make Up's Ian Svenonius). Outside of its historical context a plot concerned with non-musicians successfully playing shows along the I-40 in the American South seems almost satirical. But the fact of the matter is that in certain music scenes at that time it wasn't all that unusual for kids to take the stage with substantially more aesthetic vision than musical skill.

"Half-Cocked" was shot in just over two weeks in Louisville, Nashville and Chattanooga. While there are scads of '90s Southern indie rock luminaries starring in the picture, there are few live performances. A real treat is seeing The Grifters rip through their excellent track "She Blows Blasts Of Static" at the end of the film. Although the live performances are few, the soundtrack is amazing, and features cuts by Versus, Unwound and Polvo. The DVD -- the promo version of it, anyway -- contains scads of excellent extras, including the snippet "Lost In Spain" which describes the Spanish tour for "Half-Cocked" that was packaged with a Come tour and all shot as a second feature "Radiation," which is also on the disc. Also included are a few sets of still photos and some live musical outtakes from "Half-Cocked," although this is only presented as audio, sadly. The packaging promises even more additional content will be included with a collection that is already a boon for those who want street-level insight into '90s bands who laid the foundation for much of the indie music that has followed. Filmmakers Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky will be promoting the DVD in numerous cities throughout February, and we've included the dates below. In the meantime, how about checking out these MP3s of songs used in the film?

Polvo -- "Can I Ride" -- Jesus Christ Records double 7" [CD reissue 1995]
The Grifters -- "She Blows Blasts Of Static" -- One Sock Missing [1993]
[just click]

Pre-order "Half-Cocked" from Newbury Comics here.
Buy Polvo CDs here.
Buy Grifters CDs here.

"Half-Cocked": InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

02/07 -- Richmond, VA -- Hyperlink Cafe
02/07 -- Seattle, WA -- NW Film Forum
02/10 -- Cleveland, OH -- Parish Hall
02/11 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Rope/Myrtle Ave
02/12 -- Austin, TX -- Alamo Draft house
02/07-14 -- Boston, MA -- The Video Underground
02/13 -- New York, NY -- Anthology Film Archives
02/25 -- Albuquerque, NM -- Guild Cinema

January 22, 2007

Rack And Opinion: Release Date 01.23.07

The Good, The Bad And The QueenFirst of all, Holy Crap!

Second of all, welcome back to Rack And Opinion. It's our first set of picks for 2007 for the best and most interesting new releases of the week. We've already gushed about The Shins' Wincing The Night Away below, so you know that is going into our shopping cart tomorrow when we step out at lunch. The record will probably be joined there by Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity. And we expect that Virgin will be deeply discounting the debut from Damon Albarn's The Good, The Bad And The Queen, so if we can get it for less than $10 we'll probably throw that in, too.

Other records of note this week include the solid solo debut from Pinback's Rob Crow, Clinic's latest spookfest Visitations and, for those of you living in the UK or those of you willing to pay through the nose for the import, the expanded reissue of Adam and The Ants' Kings Of The Wild Frontier. Really, we can think of nothing more groovy right now, and it would offer a nice listening counterpoint to The Good, The Bad And The Queen, we expect. Anyhoo, those discs and the rest of our picks are listed below, with hyperlinks going to related commercial opportunities with our friends over at Newbury Comics.

Adam and the Ants -- Kings Of The Wild Frontier [Expanded Reissue] -- SonyBMG [UK]
Animal Collective -- People EP -- Fat Cat
The Broken West -- I Can't Go On, I'll Go On -- Merge
Clinic -- Visitations -- Domino
Rob Crow -- Living Well -- Temporary Residence
Deerhoof -- Friend Opportunity -- Kill Rock Stars
The Good, The Bad And The Queen -- The Good, The Bad And The Queen -- Virgin
The Shins -- Wincing the Night Away -- Sub Pop

Free Range Music: Deerhoof, The Shins, TGTBTQ

The Shins -- Wincing The Night AwayWe're here to tell you a few things. One: tomorrow is the first meaningful new release day of 2007. Two: It is a huge one, with major releases from a number of indie music luminaries. Three: Spinner is totally owning our night, because it is streaming tomorrow's big releases right now.

We're so jazzed by the new Shins record we may have to pull the rare move of stepping out at lunch tomorrow to score it -- and we're not even through the first track, "Sleeping Lessons." At first blush Wincing The Night Away sounds like a big step forward, production-wise, particularly because we found the distant rustlings of 2001's Oh, Inverted World frustrating at times. But with Wincing the guitars are big, the drums are big, the melodies are lush. There's something about the proceedings that has the same overall shiny, we're happy/we're miserable vibe as The Cure's extremely awesome (yes, there are degrees of awesomeness) The Head On The Door. There are even some close analogs: "Sea Legs" echoes elements of Fat Bob and Co.'s "Six Different Ways," for example.

But anyway, we're posting the links to the best Spinner album streams below, so put a pot of tea on and get ready to settle down to hear some great stuff. As a sidenote: we're a bit rusty with our weekly new release features, as the release dates between November and now have pretty much been bereft of interesting rock and/or roll music. But now that the music industry has geared back up, expect to see these album streams and our Rack And Opinion feature regularly. We began drafting this week's Rack And Opinion last night and hope to post it before logging off this evening. Anyway, the streams:

Animal Collective -- People -- Fat Cat
The Broken West -- I Can't Go On, I'll Go On -- Merge
Clinic -- Visitations -- Domino
Deerhoof -- Friend Opportunity -- Kill Rock Stars
The Good, The Bad And The Queen -- The Good, The Bad And The Queen -- Virgin
The Shins -- Wincing The Night Away -- Sub Pop

January 21, 2007

Reader Rewards: Win A Live Annuals Video From BaebleMusic

Hey, remember a couple weeks ago when we talked about BaebleMusic here and posted links to some of their video clips for awesome bands including Asobi Seksu, Maritime and Daylight's For The Birds? Well, the folks over at BaebleMusic got in touch to say "how do." We got to chatting and the upshot is we're running a contest together. So, you like that band Annuals? The popular Raleigh, N.C.-based indie sextet has deservedly gotten a lot of love online. Recently the band posted a new video for their tune "Brother," which we've posted above this item. The video melds a performance clip with some odd Southern gothic imagery -- it's cool. The band also recently performed on Conan O'Brien's show, which you can read more about here at I Guess I'm Floating. Anyway, how would you like to win a high-quality video of the band's Friday performance at Webster Hall in New York City? Well, all you have to do is click on the graphic below, and it will take you to a form where you can enter to win a free download of the entire Annuals set from Friday night. BaebleMusic, which usually sells these for nine bucks, will choose one winner on Friday the 26th, when the video will be all edited and pretty and ready to go.

A note on the entry form: BaebleMusic asks for a bunch of information. That sort of spooked us, so we got assurances from Baeble that your info will not be bought, sold, rented, or printed out and distributed with the Boston Globe like our credit card number was about a year ago (thanks again, Globe!). And the reason they ask for your phone number is because Baeble says a lot of times when they send an email to someone about winning a contest it gets caught in the winner's spam filter. So don't be fearful. Just think about the awesome video. Baeble is going to give us the name of the winner, which we'll announce here on the 26th or the 27th. Good luck everybody. Finally, we've posted the remaining Annuals tour dates at the bottom of this item in case you want to get out and see the band do their thing live.

01/22 -- Carrboro, NC -- Cat's Cradle
01/23 -- Jacksonville, FL -- Jack Rabbits
01/24 -- Miami, FL -- Studio A
01/25 -- Orlando, FL -- The Social
01/26 -- Atlanta, GA -- Variety Playhouse
01/27 -- Nashville, TN -- Exit/In
02/20 -- Newport, KY -- The Southgate House
02/22 -- Chicago, IL -- Schuba's
02/24 -- Minneapolis, MN -- The 400 Bar
02/27 -- Seattle, WA -- Neumo's
02/28 -- Portland, OR -- Doug Fir Lounge
03/02 -- San Francisco, CA -- Café DuNord
03/03 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Spaceland
03/04 -- San Diego, CA -- The Casbah
03/05 -- Tucson -- Club Congress
03/06 -- Phoenix, AZ -- Rhythm Room
03/07 -- Albuquerque, NM -- The Launchpad
03/09 -- Tulsa, OK -- Mooch and Burn
03/10 -- Springfield, MO -- Randy Bacon Gallery
03/11 -- Little Rock, AR -- Sticky Fingerz
03/12 -- Fayetteville, AR -- Dickson Theatre
03/13 -- Norman, OK -- Da Opolis

Annuals: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 18, 2007

YouTube Rodeo: Panther's "You Don't Want Your Nails Done"

Yes, it's Panther, not Panthers... We'll be honest, until Panther mastermind Charlie Salas-Humara blurted an obscenity (pretty much the most obscene one, if you're curious, so don't play this video at work if that is the sort of thing that will ruffle feathers) at 1:29 into this video, we weren't sure it was for us. But as soon as the dirty word is uttered the manic vocal and the killer minimalist electro groove (think James Brown-grade funk in the year 2419A.D., Buck Rogers-stizz) suddenly come into focus. After feeling that, we watched "You Don't Want Your Nails Done" several more times to take in the amazing level of detail in all the corrugated cardboard constructions. If only Justin Timberlake was 1/10th as interesting as Salas-Humara, we'd believe some of the hype bloggers spew his way -- but believe you us, Salas-Humara is light years ahead of the former Mickey Mouse Clubber. "You Don't Want Your Nails Done" is taken from Panther's forthcoming longplayer Secret Lawns, which will be released on Fryk Beat March 6. The act will also tour that month. Panther previously released an eponymous 12," and you can find out more about that here. Fryk Beat is hosting an MP3 for "Nails," which we link to below.

Panther -- "You Don't Want Your Nails Done" -- Fryk Beat
[right click and save as]

Panther: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 17, 2007

Review: Sam Skarstad | Serkus [MP3]

Sam Skarstad -- SerkusAlthough it has already gotten props in more widely trafficked blogs, we're just turning on to Sam Skarstad's solo record Serkus. Mr. Skarstad, who is also one-half of the synth pop duo Snakes Say Hiss, has concocted an engaging folktronica record surprising in its focus and depth. Surprising because, if the SSH MySpace igloo is to be believed, Mr. Skarstad is a college student but 20 years old who possesses a voice and panoramic vision not unlike Okkervil River's Will Sheff.

Skarstad describes his solo effort as a "reaction" to SSH's competent jams, "more natural and organic." It is a reaction we can certainly get behind. The meditative and eerie songs on Serkus buzz with the energy of a fever dream and flow into one another like estuaries. It is music based on sounds and not necessarily hooks, although the chorus of standout track "Sharks" is certainly memorable, even hummable, particularly at the lyric, "...and the shapes that slide beneath my feet are sharks." "Ice Cave" suggests an affinity for Animal Collective, and listeners elsewhere will encounter evocative imagery similar to that of -- and we know this opens a can of worms for a lot of people -- Neutral Milk Hotel. Not bad for a record primarily crafted in a college dorm room and a private residence in Connecticut. Anyway, Skarstad will be outside the U.S. for much of the first half of the year, so don't expect to see him perform live any time soon. But do make a point to explore the world he has created in Serkus. Here's an MP3 of "Sharks" to get you started.

Sam Skarstad -- "Sharks" -- Serkus
[just click]

Buy the record here.

Sam Skarstad: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr.

January 16, 2007

Today's Hotness: Frightened Rabbit, The A-Sides, Bloc Party

>> Haven't gotten enough of Frightened Rabbit-a-mania yet? Neither have we, which is why we've posted the above video we first found in this BrooklynVegan item. It captures the Glaswegian trio performing "Square 9" at its first U.S. tour date last night. The sound and video are surprisingly good considering it is a single-camera job shot at close range, and the song, from the band's debut Frightened Rabbit Sing The Greys, just explodes at the end. So great. Anyway, scroll down to our bandstand item from Sunday to download a couple Frightened Rabbit tracks. It's the hotness. Wish these guys would sneak up to Boston this week while they're in the states.

>> Philebrity adds a new detail to the rumor that Philadelphia's A-Sides have signed with Vagrant, which is also, of course, home to The Lemonheads and The Hold Steady. Anyhoo, Philebrity reports that The A-Sides' Silver Storms could be released by Vagrant as soon as June. More details here.

>> Aversion reports here that synth-rockers-turned-sappy-Springsteen-recyclers The Killers will record/have recorded a cover of Joy Division's "Shadowplay" that will be used in the forthcoming Ian Curtis biopic "Closer." There, we will never mention The Killers here again (we're not even giving them the requisite hyperlink). New Order is also contributing re-recorded Joy Division classics for the film.

>> We haven't hit it ourselves yet, but folks eager to hear the entire forthcoming Bloc Party record Weekend In The City can stream it over at Scenestars here. We reviewed Bloc Party's most recent Boston show here in July.

January 15, 2007

Sam Prekop Reminds Us Of The Mystery Of Plux Quba [MP3]

Nuno Canavarro -- Plux QubaOne of the most exciting pieces of music news last week was published on Pantsfork and then completely ignored by the rest of the blogosphere (we guess with today's revelation that Kevin Shields intends to make another My Bloody Valentine record, now no one will pay attention). Tucked into this news item about the forthcoming seventh record from legendary indie pop act The Sea And Cake is word that bandleader Sam Prekop "hopes" to make an electronic record that would be largely influenced by Nuno Canavarro's exquisite and singular 1988 recording Plux Quba. Mr. Canavarro hails from Cascais, Portugal, and his set was originally issued on a label called Ama Romanta, according to this Drag City page. Plux Quba came to our attention when it was re-issued as the first release on Jim O'Rourke's Moikai label in 1998. Mr. Prekop told Pfork he considers Canavarro's record "the high-water mark, in my opinion, of electronic music...It's a really delicate, beautiful, and really weird record."

An airy mixture of electronics, melodica and pre-recorded tapes, the set contains 15 tracks, only seven of which carry titles. You can read more about Plux Quba, O'Rourke's quest to reissue it and what Canavarro is up to nowadays here. Finally, below we've posted one of the untitled tracks from the record. It is the most melodic, and the incomprehensible vocals seem devastatingly poignant, although for all we know the vocalist (perhaps the reclusive Canavarro himself) could be mumbling a list of groceries. In a 2002 Sound Collector review that seems to be the most definitive statement on Plux Quba, Mark Richardson wrote "Track 5 sounds like a transcription of a psychotherapy session braided with a fourth-generation master of Brian Eno's Music for Airports; there's something almost voyeuristic about it, and I'd feel guilty listening in if the vocalizations weren't processed beyond recognition."

Nuno Canavarro -- "Untitled/Track Five" -- Plux Quba
[just click]

Buy Plux Quba from Moikai here.

Nuno Canavarro: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 14, 2007

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Frightened Rabbit [MP3]

Frightened Rabbit[photo credit: christopher heaney] We were sort of ignoring the hype about gritty Glaswegian indie pop trio Frightened Rabbit. Well, if you can call out-of-the-blue adulation for the just over a year-old group from a small group of blogs including Catbird Seat hype. Well, it turns out the hype is earned and deserved. It took an email from the recently reactivated Self Starter Foundation email list to impress upon us how big a deal the band is. It sounds like Self Starter Foundation honcho Chris Newmyer was so moved by the act that he flew abroad to see them recently, then flew back to America and began booking them a short U.S. tour. Well, it's more a tour of two of the five boroughs of New York City and a date each in Philadelphia and Chicago [UPDATE: doesn't this sentence written Sunday look a lot like one of the final sentences published in this Pitchfork news item Monday night at 7:15PM? Great minds think alike, we guess]. But it is now upon us, and the full dates are below. Self Starter is hosting a couple preview tracks, and they are first rate scruffy pop music. This comparison does not do the music justice, but if you twee-d up The Libertines' Up The Bracket, you'd be in the right ball park. Just download the songs -- you'll know you did the right thing as soon as you do.

Frightened Rabbit -- "The Greys" -- Frightened Rabbit "Sings The Greys"
Frightened Rabbit -- "Go Go Girls" -- Frightened Rabbit "Sings The Greys"
[right click and save as]

01/15 -- Micheline's -- Brooklyn, NY
01/17 -- Northsix -- Brooklyn, NY
01/19 -- Cake Shop -- New York, NY
01/20 -- Sine-e -- New York, NY
01/21 -- Johnny Brenda's -- Philadelphia, PA
01/22 -- Mercury Lounge -- New York, NY
01/23 -- Empty Bottle -- Chicago, IL

Frightened Rabbit: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 11, 2007

Misery, Women And Karl Hendricks Trio In The Early '90s [MP3]

Karl Hendricks TrioThere were some years there in the early and mid-'90s during which it seemed Karl Hendricks of the excellent Karl Hendricks Trio operating out of Pittsburgh, PA, was the most heartbroken man in indie rock. Which is saying a lot, considering the preponderance of amazing sad-sack indie rock tunes of the era. Yes, no matter how many times you'd had your entrails stomped on by a member of the fairer sex, Mr. Hendricks not only had it worse, he'd already documented it in song. From "Stupidhead" off 1992's Buick Electra to 1995's lacerating "Foolish Words Of A Woman In Love" off A Gesture Of Kindness, Hendricks had been there: confused, crying in his beer or seriously pissed. Or all three at once.

We were reminded of all of this the other day when "You're The Man" surprisingly came up on the IPod as it shuffled its way across another work day. The tune is not Hendricks' most pointed or powerful, but perhaps that is because Hendricks saves the agony for the coda. Anyway, we did a quick check over at Hype Machine and a search for "Karl Hendricks" returns a single hit for some band covering a Karl Hendricks Trio jam. That will not stand. So here's two, the aforementioned "You're The Man" and the stirring classic "The Scoffer's Reply." The latter tune comes from A Gesture Of Kindness, which went out of print and was subsequently reissued by Spirit Of Orr in 2004 (it looks like they still have copies). Hendricks' most recent set was the excellent The Jerks Win Again, which was issued by Merge in 2003. A new record was recorded last year and is expected to see release sometime in 2007.

Karl Hendricks Trio -- "You're The Man" -- The Karl Hendricks Trio Sings About Misery And Women
Karl Hendricks Trio -- "The Scoffer's Reply" -- A Gesture Of Kindness

You can stream three additional cuts at Merge's media page for KHT. The tunes are "Naked And High On Drugs," "You're A Bigger Jerk Than Me," and "The Overweight Lovers." We highly recommend the first and last tune. Here's the page. And here's where you can buy various KHT titles, mostly the later ones, from Merge, who also maintains a band discography here. You can also download "The Overweight Lovers" from the band's page at Better Propaganda here. Additionally, you can stream seven cuts at a page set up by former drummer (1992-1996) Tom Hoffman here, including the superlative cut "Stupidhead."

Finally, here are the vital statistics:

Karl Hendricks Trio: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr | Wikipedia

January 10, 2007

Free Range Music: The Swimmers, Track A Tiger, Good Shoes

The Swimmers>> Philadelphia indie poppers The Swimmers are streaming their entire forthcoming record Fighting Trees at its web site right here. We highly recommend checking it out, as the band has kind of a lush Spoon-y, Brit-pop thing going on that we find appealing. The record has a hot opening cut "It's Time They Knew" that is particularly arresting. And that segues right into the Beatles-y cut "Heaven," a tune that name-drops Ms. Clicky Clicky's hometown of Lancaster, PA which we think we first heard on one of Jon Solomon's radio show or podcasts. No word yet on when exactly Fighting Trees will be released, but we'll keep our eyes on it.

>> Rbally points us over to Daytrotter, which is currently hosting a new session with Track A Tiger, who we first wrote about here last March. Our assessment back then? "The act's moody folk rock absconds with the occasional chamber pop or electronic element, but primarily stands tall based on its patient, arresting songwriting." Hit this link to check out the airy strummer "Happy" from last year's Woke Up Early The Day I Died and three other tracks. It's good stuff.

>> It's been a while since we've checked in on BBC's Collective. This week the site here is championing a suburban London guitar pop act called Good Shoes. The quartet is long on quirk and low on aggression, and we're sure the younger kids will tag them as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!! knockoffs. Our ears hear the influence of classic Brit acts like The Housemartins. Good Shoes even has the same fresh-scrubbed Housemartins look, at least in the picture at The Collective's site. Anyhoo, the Collective has audio and video of Good Shoes doing it's thing, so have a look or a look and a listen. Oh wait, here's the video for their recently issued single "Photos On My Wall," which we found on the YouTube. Dig it.

January 8, 2007

Clicky Clicky Snappy Questions: Henry Rollins Edition

Henry Rollins>> How much do you think the ticket agent for the airline that lost Henry Rollins' luggage in Amman, Jordan is getting yelled at? [2.13.61 Dispatches]

Watch the videos for "Liar" and "Disconnect" and think about it.

January 7, 2007

Today's Hotness: Daylight's For The Birds, CYHSY!!, TGTBTQ

>> Is Baeble Music the new Digital Club Network? We don't know, but we've already seen the name twice in the last week or so, so its profile is definitely on the rise. Among other things, you can currently stream video of genius dream-poppers Daylight's For The Birds performing "Worlds Away" at Mercury Lounge Dec. 21, which we've taken the trouble of posting above. The sound quality is great, and the video is shot with several different angles -- its all very pro. While you are at Baeble Music check out this Snowden performance of "Filler Is Wasted," too. Or this clip of Maritime performing "Tearing Up The Oxygen." We think that somehow you can access/purchase entire live sets via the site, but we are just starting to explore things over there and aren't really sure how it all works yet. But if any of you Baeble Music people are reading this, you should think about finding out who owns the old Digital Club Network content and acquire it. There was lots of great indie rock shows there. Oh yeah, also: hey Baeble Music people, can you make it so when one embeds a video as we have above, that you get something more entertaining to look at than a big grey box?

>> Some good numbers in today's Billboard profile of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The band intends to ship 60,000 copies of its sophomore set, a figure exponentially greater than the 2,000 copies of the eponymous debut that the quintet initially shipped. That debut ultimately sold about 200,000 copies, grossing the band close to $2 million. This time around the band's take per album is decreased from $7 per disc to $6 per disc. The Clap's Some Loud Thunder, which gets released Jan. 30, will again be distributed domestically by Warner's ADA and internationally by Wichita, a three-person label that also releases Bloc Party recordings abroad. Some Loud Thunder will be available for digital download Jan. 16.

>> Beginning tomorrow fans can stream the entire new record from Damon Albarn's The Good, The Bad And The Queen at the band's MySpace yert here.

>> Logh reports that it has titled its forthcoming record. North will be issued across Europe in the final week of March. The Swedish sextet expects to release the record in other markets not long after. Logh plans to tour in February, April, May and throughout the summer, and hopes to make it to North America in the "near future," presumably later in the year following its other commitments.

January 6, 2007

Today's Hotness: The A-Sides, The Hold Steady

The A-Sides>> HerJazz reports here that Philadelphia-based retro rock savants The A-Sides have signed with Vagrant. We took the information to our friendly neighborhood Vagrant rep, who could not confirm or deny the news. The band completed its sophomore set Silver Storms last year, had a different label deal fall through, and have been biding their time ever since. The A-Sides have lined up a few shows to kick off the year and the dates are below. The sextet released its debut Hello, Hello on Prison Jazz in 2005, and the record was No. 4 on our list Ten You Should Have Heard For 2005. If you haven't heard the Silver Storms preview track "Cinematic" yet, you are way behind. Here's the MP3:

The A-Sides -- "Cinematic" -- Silver Storms

01/13 -- Dayton, OH -- The Nite Owl
01/14 -- Chicago, IL -- Schuba's
02/10 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Johnny Brenda's

>> Speaking of Vagrant acts, or potential Vagrant acts and actual Vagrant acts, Brooklyn-based bar band superstars The Hold Steady are featured here in a new Spinner.com feature that includes three live performance clips. Definitely watch the band's cracking performance of "Stuck Between Stations." The tune was recorded live at Warsaw in Brooklyn. And when the guitars explode in the bridge its totally spine-tingling.

January 4, 2007

YouTube Rodeo: Snowden's "Anti Anti"

Every time we think maybe, just maybe, we'll tire of Snowden's "Anti Anti," the song sucks us back in. It's latest success at maintaining a position in our good graces was driven by Cliptip, which posted a link to the video here the other day. We got tired of waiting for the video to load via that link, so we trotted over to YouTube and of course found the video sitting right there waiting. The video pixellates the usual performance clip into big pulsating dots, rendering the Atlanta-based quartet rocking out in visuals not unlike so many brightly colored gumdrops. We think you'll dig it, and if the song is new to you, get ready to be addicted. Since we're talking about the constantly touring band, we may as well mention some forthcoming U.S. tour dates, which are listed below. Snowden recently returned from some dates across the proverbial pond and you can read a re-cap of those dates in the news section of the band's Internet Home Page right here. Finally, here's the MP3 of the tune, in case it has somehow slipped your radar, despite our talking about it over and over.

Snowden -- "Anti Anti" -- Anti Anti
[right click and save as]

02/18 -- Mercury Lounge -- New York, New York
02/20 -- Johnny Brenda's -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
02/21 -- Rock and Roll Hotel -- Washington DC
02/23 -- TBA -- Chicago, Illinois
02/24 -- TBA -- Minneapolis, Minnesota
02/28 -- Neumo's -- Seattle, Washington
03/01 -- Dante's -- Portland, Oregon
03/02 -- Noisepop Festival -- San Francisco, California
03/03 -- TBA -- Los Angeles, California
03/04 -- TBA -- San Diego, California
03/06 -- Cinespace -- Los Angeles, California
03/09 -- Larimer Lounge -- Denver, Colorado
03/10 -- The Record Bar -- Kansas City, Kansas
03/12 -- TBA -- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
03/13 -- Deep Ellum Festival -- Dallas, Texas
03/14 -- SXSW -- Austin, Texas

Snowden: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 3, 2007

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Relay

RelayRough-edged shoegazers Relay are slowly filling up their dance cards for the winter months. The band is touring their recent full-length Still Point Of Turning up and down the East Coast and even have a couple scattered dates in the relatively far-flung locales Lansing, Michigan and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Full dates as they currently exist are listed below. Hit up the band's MySpace for more info, including other acts on these bills, which in some cases include amazing acts Mahogany and Daylight's For The Birds. Relay is prepping for the tour by making a bunch of MP3s available for download at its aforementioned MySpace and Last.fm pages, which you can check out here and here respectively. We can already tell you "Driver" from last year's Type/Void EP is a scorcher, and to prove it we are linking to the MP3 below. We have it on good authority that Relay is still trying to secure more dates for the winter, and we'll keep you apprised on any new ones we learn about, particularly if they are local.

Relay -- "Driver" -- Type/Void EP
[just click]

01/13 -- Sin-e -- New York, New York
01/14 -- Johnny Brenda's -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
01/16 -- Galapagos -- New York, New York
02/21 -- Higher Ground -- Burlington, Vermont
02/23 -- The Modern Exchange -- Southgate, Michigan
02/25 -- The Empty Bottle -- Chicago, Illinois
02/28 -- The Warehouse Next Door -- Washington DC
03/02 -- Relative Theory Records -- Norfolk, Virginia
03/07 -- Spanish Moon -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Relay: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

January 2, 2007

Today's Hotness: Mobius Band, Up Up Down Down

Baby Dayliner and Peter Sax of Mobius Band>> Electronic rock trio Mobius Band reports that it is finishing songs and plans to record its sophomore full-length "in a couple months." The act, which released the excellent The Loving Sounds Of Static on Ghostly International in 2005, aims to release the new set in the fall. Mobius Band recently posted a wrap-up of its fall tour with Baby Dayliner here at Music.For-Robots.

>> Ultimate awkwardly monikered indie rockers Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, fresh from rounding out our Eight Records That You Should Have Heard In 2006 list, have launched a new web clearinghouse featuring tons of MP3s. Check it out here. We highly recommend the out-of-print Live In The Studio EP, which is posted for download and features many of the band's awesome recent tracks. Also check out the video for "Please Come To Me" while you visit the site. It's sublime. Seriously. Will someone please book these guys in Boston?

>> We're getting off to a bit of a slow start here in 2007. Rack And Opinion will return next week. The redesign continues anon and in bits and pieces each day.