March 31, 2007

That Was The Show That Was: E.R., The Mitchells | PA's Lounge

E.R. And Caleb Wetmore of The MitchellsIt's a rare event these days that we actually go to a show where there are two bands on the bill we're interested in. But last night we had the pleasure of a twofer at PA's Lounge in Somerville, Mass., where The Mitchells and E.R. were rocking in the one and three slots respectively on a four-band bill toplined by Tom Thumb, which was playing its final show. The Mitchells, newly stripped down to a three-piece from a quartet, had started their second tune as we made the scene, and the affable trio from Western Mass. delivered a tidy set comprised mostly of cuts from its latest long player Slow Gears, which we reviewed here earlier this month.

We were struck by the steady stream of what for us would have been intensely hand-cramping chords that guitarist and singer (and, incidentally, New Radiant Storm King bassist) Caleb Wetmore uses to construct smart rock songs. The Mitchells offered up a few new tunes, too, and joked about some less-than-slick sections. But all of what we presumed to be the new material (we're not familiar with the band's back catalog at all) sounded like winners. The highlights of the set were the memorable tracks from Slow Gears, including "Still Might Happen" and "R.I.," which we think was the set closer. The band was particularly compelling when compositions made room for drummer Mike McLean to build up a head of steam and really punch songs home. We spoke with Mr. Wetmore briefly after the performance and he says the band aims to put together a longer string of dates to support Slow Gears, which certainly deserves more attention. You can still stream all of the record at the link below.

After a pit stop in the bar during the second act we returned to the side of the stage for a no-nonsense set from hometowner E.R., who charged through cracking versions of many of the songs from his recently released set of anthems to dissatisfaction, This Conspiracy Against Us. Guitarist and singer Eldridge Rodriguez led backing trio The New Jerseys through spirited versions of "You Get What You Want" (complete with its ear-dictive chearleader chant for action) and "Stillborn In New Jersey" to kick off the set, and a highlight was a rocked-up version of "You And Me." The staged versions of the tunes from This Conspiracy are stripped of adornments present on the album like slide guitar, organ and piano, and what is left is, as our old pal Barry quipped last night in a different context, "all killer and no filler." Even so, second guitarist Greg Lyon daisy-chained the set together with a loaded effects pedal that droned tremolo guitar notes, and Mr. Rodriguez strapped on a harmonica at one point. Word on the street is a second E.R. record is already in the can, so don't expect much in the way of a pause in the stream of Beatings-related releases. We reviewed This Conspiracy Against Us here. We've got MP3s and buy links for both The Mitchells and E.R. below -- doowutchyalike. Finally, here is a Flickr set of our pics from the shows.

E.R. -- "Stillborn In New Jersey" -- This Conspiracy Against Us [video]
E.R. -- "You Get What You Want" -- This Conspiracy Against Us
[right click and save as]

[buy This Conspiracy Against Us from Midriff here]

E.R.: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

The Mitchells -- "Still Might Happen" -- Slow Gears
The Mitchells -- "R.I." -- Slow Gears
[right click and save as; more Mitchells MP3s can be found here]

[Stream all of Slow Gears right here. Buy from CDBaby here]

The Mitchells: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

March 29, 2007

Today's Hotness: The High Price Of Robert Palmer, And Et Cetera

>> How insane is it that Robert Palmer's Clues is out of print on CD? Best price at Amazon right now is $30 for a used copy. EBay's got a copy that you can order from some fellow in Australia for about the equivalent of $15 USD, but if we're going to spend that kind of money we'd rather get a brand new copy. And considering we just binged at Forced Exposure on the most recent Pop Ambient collection as well as the hotly anticipated new sets from The Field and Pole, we shouldn't even be having this conversation. Incidentally, in all that looking around for Robert Palmer CDs we came across a cover of "Johnny And Mary" by Placebo we'd never heard before. Not bad. We've posted Mr. Palmer's original video above; here's Placebo's version.

>> Old Guy Rant: The best Modest Mouse song is it's first single "Broke," which we first encountered with the flipside "Whenever You Breath Out, I Breathe In" when Sub Pop serviced it to our college radio station in 1996. Stream the teeth-rattling, heart-stomping version from the live record Baron Von Bullshit Rides Again for free here via Rhapsody. It deserves #1 status more than anything found on We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Just sayin.'

>> Does anybody remember the show HBO Video Jukebox from the early '80s? It played music videos for about a half an hour. At least in our house it was a pre-cursor to having MTV. We're pretty sure we first saw The Clash's "This Is Radio Clash" on HBO Video Jukebox. We were certainly confused as hell, because at that point -- at the ripe age of 7 or whatever -- we only knew the band by reputation, and we couldn't fathom why this punk band was making an electro-funk track. Anyway, another tune we remember getting played on the show was called "Questionnaire." We don't remember who sang it, and it is therefore virtually Google-proof. The clip for the song featured an oscilloscope, if that is what it is called. Basically it was all black and then the sound waves or something caused a neon green line going across the screen to, well, oscillate. Anybody know what I am talking about?

>> Opinion presented as fact: the best Peter, Bjorn & John song is "Chills." It's the only track of theirs we find ourselves listening to over and over again right now.

March 28, 2007

YouTube Rodeo: The Pop Of P.I.L.'s "Pop Tones"

We're still just about halfway through Simon Reynolds' excellent book "Rip It Up And Start Again." The book begins with a discussion of Public Image Ltd., and it would seem it begins a second half by proclaiming P.I.L.'s Metal Box the pinnacle of post-punk music. Reynolds offers a little editorial on each of the set's tracks and we realized we couldn't remember what "Pop Tones" sounded like. So we headed to YouTube and found it right quick, and the clip is linked atop this item. The song, despite its morbid narrative, can be a pleasant respite from the band's monochromatic, rhythmic slabs like "Death Disco" and "Memories."

Awesome things about this performance clip from The Old Grey Whistle Test:

1) Red coat.
2) White parallelogram guitar.
3) This more about the song than the clip, but we love how busy the bass playing is on this song, and how it goes out of key sometimes.

March 27, 2007

Review: Andrew Bird | Armchair Apocrypha [MP3]

Andrew Bird -- Armchair ApocryphaOn his new album, Armchair Apocrypha, singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird shows he can compete in the realm of lush, literate indie rock with any of the bigwigs out there right now -— be they The Decemberists, Arcade Fire or Spoon. He’s that good.

Andrew Bird’s seventh release and first on Fat Possum, Armchair Apocrypha features plenty of clever turns of phrase, moody soundscapes and even atmospheric whistling. Bird, a classically trained violinist, teams with touring drummer Martin Dosh and several other musicians to create a rich tapestry of sound that surrounds his cerebral songs. Bird’s vocals vary from low-key throughout to soaring falsetto on “Dark Matter” and “Armchairs.”

“Do you wonder where the self resides/is it in your head or between your sides/and who will be the one who will decide/its true location,” Bird sings in “Dark Matter.” On lead track “Fiery Crash,” Bird explains a superstitious preflight routine: “To save our lives you’ve got to envision/the fiery crash//it’s just a formality/why must I explain?/just a nod to mortality/before you get on a plane.” Other songs cover topics such as the scientific process of mitosis (“Imitosis”) and the similarities between the current situation in the Middle East and ancient civilizations (“Scythian Empires”).

After years of guesting on albums from My Morning Jacket, Kristin Hersh and Squirrel Nut Zippers, Armchair Apocrypha establishes Bird as a solo force to be reckoned with. the set was released March 20. Currently touring Europe, Bird returns next month to play a string of U.S. dates. Full dates are online here. -- Jay Kumar

Andrew Bird -- “Heretics” -- Armchair Apocrypha
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Andrew Bird: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

March 26, 2007

Free Range Music: California Snow Story, Frightened Rabbit, Dntel

California Snow Story>> We noted the passing of the WhyMe podcast here last week. One podcast that we've glommed onto in the absence of WhyMe is the U.K.-based Indiepop Radio Podcast, a nice concise presentation of catchy numbers that has yet to disappoint us. It has also been the first outlet to expose us to a number of quality acts including The Wombats and, more recently, California Snow Story. The newest episode features that brilliant Scottish duo's irresistible and dreamy "Suddenly Everything Happens" and, as it turns out, the song is freely available for download from the Letterbox Records web site here as well as the band's MySpace dojo here. It has a distinctly '90s Slumberland Records sound to it -- as such it is highly recommended. We'll save you a trip and link to the track below. Trivia hounds will find it interesting that CSS' David Skirving was a founding member of Merge Records stalwarts Camera Obscura. California Snow Story's first full length Close To The Ocean will be released by Letterbox May 21 in Europe and the UK and at some point (presumably later) in the Americas by Plastilina Records. The band previously issued an EP titled One Good Story in late 2002.

California Snow Story -- "Suddenly Everything Happens" -- Close To The Ocean
[right click and save as]

>> Breakout Glaswegian indie pop trio Frightened Rabbit as of this writing is offering through its MySpace hutch the affecting cut "My Backwards Walk" for download. The song is a close cousin to the tunes on Sing The Greys, the lads' stellar debut released in the U.K. last year. "My Backwards Walk" is built on a sturdy strummed guitar and gradually layers in keys, acoustic guitar and spiky hand claps as the tune crescendos at the repeating of the lyric "you're the sh*t and I'm knee-deep in it." More greatness from these guys. Get the song here. Frightened Rabbit recently showed us around their practice space in Show Us Yours #5 -- check it out.

>> Alright, this one isn't technically free, but we expect if you look hard enough and long enough in the usual places you will be able to turn up an MP3 of the striking Dntel track "Breakfast In Bed." The tune features Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst on vocal alongside band leader Jimmy Tamborello's reliably listenable electronics; the tune is the penultimate track on Dntel's forthcoming set Dumb Luck, which Sub Pop will release April 24 [more info about the release at Pop Bus Sub Pop here]. Sub Pop for its part is offering a free download of the set's opener and title track at its media page here; it is also available to Dntel's MySpace teepee. Anyway, "Breakfast In Bed" offers one of those too-rare, heart-crushing performances from Mr. Oberst that makes the hair stand up on the back of our neck. A lot of times we find him overwrought, and we aren't a fan of vibrato in singers. But lyrically Oberst can occasionally muster sentiments that slice the proverbial heartstrings to ribbons (perhaps most notably in the stellar Desaparecidos rocker "Man And Wife, The Latter"), and he scores again with "Breakfast In Bed." Dumb Luck is worth buying for this track alone.

March 25, 2007

Review: E.R. | This Conspiracy Against Us [MP3s]

E.R. -- This Conspiracy Against UsFor those of you keeping score at home, at the moment Boston-based post-punk quartet The Beatings has almost as many side projects as band members, all of them containing a different arrangement of many of the same players. It would make for a very good Venn diagram. Things could get pretty darn hectic, as The Beatings also report they are working on a third full-length and sixth proper release, which will be the band's follow-up to last year's ambitious Holding On To Hand Grenades. In the meantime, E.R., a Beatings side project named for and featuring co-singer/co-songwriter Eldridge Rodriguez (not his real name), has issued an emotional wreck of a debut entitled This Conspiracy Against Us.

The 14 songs contained herein are not too far removed from those of The Beatings, which is little surprise considering Mr. Rodriguez's songwriting contributions. For example, E.R.'s "Why I Fear The Ocean" is melodically reminiscent of The Beatings' excellent "CoIntelPro." Although The Beatings' searing guitar assault and exorcising aggression are somewhat dialed back for This Conspiracy Against Us, a characteristic intensity remains. On "Planet's Fall" in particular Rodriguez's vocals sweat out sentiment like a pitcher of beer in the summer. If there is an element of surprise to This Conspiracy Against Us it can be found in the broader instrumentation deployed by Rodriguez and an able stable of sonic henchpersons. Acoustic guitar, violin, piano and organ serve well the quieter tunes on the set. In fact, some of its finest moments rest within the stirring ballads such as "Lexington, KY" ("Everyone's got a plan and everyone's plan sucks...") and "Tirefire," both album highlights. E.R.'s debut was issued Feb. 27 on Midriff. Localites can watch the band perform in the flesh at P.A.'s Lounge Friday, March 30, in Somerville, Mass. (which we believe is the same show The Mitchells will be playing that we mentioned earlier here).

E.R. -- "Stillborn In New Jersey" -- This Conspiracy Against Us [video]
E.R. -- "Tirefire" -- This Conspiracy Against Us
[right click and save as]

[buy This Conspiracy Against Us from Midriff here]

E.R.: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

March 24, 2007

Today's Hotness: Okay Paddy, The Go Find, The Books

Okay Paddy>> [PHOTO CREDIT] Pennsylvania-based indie rock evil geniuses Okay Paddy will release a five-song EP later this spring called Where You Went, and the band has posted three new tracks "Dumbwaiter," "Losing Me" and "Trounce Him" at its MySpace outhouse here. The short set was produced by Nick Krill of Delaware pop sextet Spinto Band. In the meantime Okay Paddy has a few tour dates with Spinto Band through the end of this month and has also launched a new web site. At the revamped site you can stream all of the quartet's roundly excellent 2006 long-player The Cactus Has A Point track by track via a flashy-java player doohickey.

>> If you don't subscribe to the Morr Music podcast, well, first of all, thats pretty unfortunate. Second of all, if you don't subscribe, then you haven't heard the latest installment from Antwerp-representin' The Go Find, which (well, who, since The Go Find is primarily a fellow named Dieter Sermeus), instead of doing the typical thing of talking about their new record Stars On The Wall and then playing some clips of songs, has created a seven-minute composition in which they describe the record. A brilliant idea, brilliantly executed. It may not make for a brilliant song throughout, but it is probably better than most of the stuff you will hear today. So anyway, go to your ITunes or where ever you acquire podcasts and subscribe to the Morr Music one. Stars On The Wall streets April 24. How about an MP3? Here is The Go Find's "Dictionary," which to us sounds like a simpler, reimagined version of The Notwist's "This Room." Meaning it's not too shabby.

The Go Find -- "Dictionary" -- Stars On The Wall
[right click and save as]

>> We've had tour dates for electro-acoustic wunderkinds The Books sitting in our work-in-progress pile for almost two months because we couldn't figure out why the amazing duo was touring. Well, Pitchfork delivered the answer yesterday, revealing that the duo has created a DVD titled Playall. The band will only be selling the disc at live shows and on its web site for now. We saw The Books play what we believe was its first-ever live show at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts two years ago [review here], and, based on what we saw, we think Playall will be pretty super. We remember the live rendition of "Twelve Fold Chain" to be particularly stirring and mesmerizing [here's some recent video of the track]. After the North American tour dates listed below and eight days' worth of shows abroad in May, The Books plan to begin work on its fourth album. The band's previous set Lost And Safe was released in 2005 and we reviewed it here for Junkmedia. Incidentally, you can stream each song from The Books' three records at its Internet Home Page here. Nifty. Anyway, here are the tour dates:

04.12 -- Ottawa, ON -- Babylon
04.13 -- Toronto, ON -- Opera House
04.14 -- Montreal, QC -- Ukrainian Federation
04.15 -- Somerville, MA -- Somerville Theater
04.16 -- Philadelphia, PA -- First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
04.17 -- Washington, DC -- 9:30 Club
04.18 -- Asheville, NC -- Orange Peel
04.19 -- Knoxville, TN -- Bijou Theatre
04.20 -- Atlanta, GA -- Variety Playhouse
04.21 -- Austin, TX -- Antones
04.22 -- Malibu, CA -- Malibu Performing Arts Center
04.23 -- San Francisco, CA -- Great American Music Hall
04.24 -- Portland, OR -- Aladdin Theater
04.25 -- Vancouver, BC -- Richards on Richards
04.26 -- Seattle, WA -- Neumos
04.27 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Walker Art Center
04.28 -- Chicago, IL -- Old Town School of Folk
04.28 -- Chicago, IL -- Old Town School of Folk

March 21, 2007

YouTube Rodeo: Half-Way To The Feelies And "Higher Ground"

Could a Feelies reunion be too far off? Really, with all the other big deal indie rock reunions that have transpired, isn't it time that the nerdy gang of guitar slingers with intense coffee nerves reforms? We don't want The New York Dolls, we don't want The Stooges, we want The Feelies. We rhapsodize about this fairly regularly, but time was you could trust your glossy music magazines to make decent recommendations. And so it was that in 1988 or so Spin or some similar outfit gave The Feelies' Only Life a glowing review so we walked across our suburb to the indie store in the basement of a building on the other side of the train tracks and bought it. On cassette, no less. The band broke up three years later after releasing the excellent Time For A Witness. And then we didn't have The Feelies anymore.

But check out the video above, which features one-half of the band's songwriting brain trust Glenn Mercer along with drummer Dave Weckerman. The duo perform "Higher Ground" from Only Life at a private party at a Brooklyn bar last September. It's awesome -- don't let the first :30 or so of dark, unsteady camera work put you off. We didn't hear about the semi-reunion at all, and if it wasn't for some message board chatter about a Feelies song being used in a new Volvo commercial we wouldn't have even thought to go look for Feelies stuff at YouTube for the first time in a year. Granted, Mercer and Weckerman continued to play together in a couple acts after The Feelies' 1991 demise, making this video a little less surprising. But still, that's half the original lineup. If somebody can get Bill Million in the same room with them, that'd be pretty awesome.

The Feelies: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr | Wikipedia

March 20, 2007

Today's Hotness: Mobius Band, Jesu, WhyMe Podcast

Mobius Band>> According to a MySpace bulletin we've only now just seen, indie rockers The Mobius Band entered a studio March 1 to begin recording its second full-length. The trio records once again with Emery Dobyns, who also recorded the band's 2005 debut full-length on Ghostly International, The Loving Sounds Of Static. The lads report they have demo'd 17 songs and they expect 10-12 to appear on the finished product. There is no information as of yet about release date or album title. In the meantime, how about some Mobius Band MP3s?

The Mobius Band -- "The Loving Sounds Of Static" -- The Loving Sounds Of Static
The Mobius Band -- "Starts Off With A Bang" -- City Vs. Country EP
[right click and save as]

>> Brainwashed's The Eye video program arranged a sit-down with Jesu's Justin Broadrick, which is kind of amazing since Jesu's tour got off to a rocky start, or a non-start, when visas couldn't be secured in time for the start of the tour. Broadrick discusses his early years in Napalm Death and many of his other myriad projects. And, as always, the interview clips are interspersed with live footage from Jesu's show this past weekend at The Middle East in Cambridge. Here is the link to the first portion of the interview. All three segments are on YouTube.

>> The excellent Philly-based podcast WhyMe has posted a final show. We discovered many, many bands via this podcast in its heyday, including the on-hiatus and we-seem-to-recall-somehow-Voxtrot-related Belaire, Relay and Diagram among others. It's sad, people. All the episodes remain archived for the time being. We highly recommend heading back into the archives around the summer of 2005, that's when the podcast was really crackling with good stuff.

March 19, 2007

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr 2007[Note: Yeah, we know Pitchfork posted this earlier today, but we wrote it Saturday afternoon and we're not throwing away our hard work. Formatting all those tour dates to look nice is a pain in the arse!] As the pace of rock reunions quickens with seemingly each successive month, and particularly with the recent revelation that the infamously dysfunctional trio The Police will this summer play to arenas filled with old people who paid grossly inflated ticket prices, it is increasingly easy to minimize the minor miracle of the reunion of Dinosaur Jr.'s original lineup. In its first life, the band's interpersonal problems became so acrimonious that they approached comical -- at least in hindsight. Our favorite moment of Lawrence Azerrad's excellent book "Our Band Could Be Your Life" is this description of friction between guitarist and sole constant member J Mascis and bassist Lou Barlow.

"'[Barlow] didn't really talk until he got his girlfriend,' says Mascis, "...and then he talked a lot. And then I was realizing from a lot of the things he was saying, 'Hmmm, maybe I don't like Lou.'"

That, of course, is all ancient history, as Dinosaur Jr. has since Voltron'd its original lineup back together and executed two successful reunion tours. And as we reported here previously, the group will issue May 1 its first set together since 1988. In interviews Barlow discusses openly how the band is still mostly The J Mascis Show, but even so the new set is the strongest under the Dinosaur Jr. brand since 1993's Where You Been, and Mascis' strongest since the 2001 J Mascis + The Fog tour de force More Light. To mark Fat Possum's release of the new set, appropriately titled Beyond, as well as the forthcoming DVD "Dinosaur Jr. Live In The Middle East," the band is touring North America. Full dates are below, and for a limited time tickets can be purchased via presale here. We've also got a second MP3 from the forthcoming set available for download below.

Dinosaur Jr. -- "Almost Ready" -- Beyond
[right click and save as]

[pre-order Beyond from Fat Possum here]

Dinosaur Jr.: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

05/11 -- West Hollywood, CA -- The Troubador
05/12 -- West Hollywood, CA -- The Troubador
05/13 -- West Hollywood, CA -- The Troubador
05/15 -- San Francisco, CA -- Slim’s
05/16 -- San Francisco, CA -- Slim’s
05/17 -- Portland, OR -- Crystal Ballroom
05/18 -- Seattle, WA -- The Showbox
05/19 -- Olympia, WA -- Capitol Theatre
05/20 -- Bellingham, WA -- The Nightlight
05/22 -- Victoria, BC -- Sugar Nightclub
05/23 -- Vancouver, BC -- The Commodore Ballroom
05/25 -- Calgary, AB -- Macewan Ballroom
05/26 -- Edmonton, AB -- The Starlite Room
05/27 -- Saskatoon, SK -- The Odeon Events Centre
05/28 -- Winnipeg, MB -- Garrick Centre at the Marlborogh
05/29 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Triple Rock
05/30 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Triple Rock
05/31 -- Chicago, IL -- The Abbey
06/01 -- Chicago, IL -- The Abbey
06/02 -- Chicago, IL -- The Abbey
06/03 -- Ann Arbor, MI -- The Blind Pig
06/04 -- Ann Arbor, MI -- The Blind Pig
06/06 -- New York, NY -- Irving Plaza
06/07 -- New York, NY -- Irving Plaza
06/08 -- Toronto, ON -- Phoenix Concert Theatre
06/09 -- Montreal, PQ -- Club Soda

March 18, 2007

Show Us Yours #7: Meneguar

Meneguar at EmandeeMeneguar. They're better than your band. The Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet is probably better than your favorite band. So the relative low profile of Meneguar continues to confound us. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the act isn't the touring mainstay that, say, noted road warriors Snowden are. Perhaps it is because of their relatively limited output, as Meneguar has but one EP, I Was Born At Night, released (and then re-released) on CD. There's a more recent single, and then there's some stuff on cassettes that you probably can't buy anymore. The full discography is online right here. Even so, the band's relatively small output is 100% quality.

In late summer or early fall Meneguar will dramatically expand its catalog when it issues a first proper full-length via Troubleman Unlimited, Strangers In Our House, as well as a couple planned one-sided vinyl records. Attendant European and U.S. tours are in the planning stages. In the meantime the band has some domestic dates this spring, including a local date at Medford, Mass.'s Tufts University at the end of this month. While we regularly rant about the band here, we seized upon the occasion of this show as an opportunity to put to rest a long-in-the-works Show Us Yours feature with Meneguar. Below singer and guitarist Jarvis Taveniere professes a love of Little Debbie snack cakes, explains the irritation of moving band gear and offers more details about the band's practice space and future releases.

1. Why do you use this space?

We practice at our friend Mark's studio called Emandee. We've been recording and practicing there since 2000 and it just feels like home.

2. How has a quirk of this space or a former space affected the band, its over-all sound or the sound of a certain track?

For a while we had a practice space about half-hour drive from our house. It had this really tiny elevator that barely fit everything in it and, to top if off, it didn't have a hold button in it. So more than once I was picking up an amp and realized that the door had shut and that I was [already] on my way back down. So frustrating. I think it made us play fewer shows. We just hated unloading.

3. You walk into your practice space. What's the first thing you smell? Why?

Little Debbie treats. I've got a sweet tooth and I'm very thrifty.

4. It seems like, with three planned releases, the band has hit a very productive cycle. We recall the original plan for the follow-up to I Was Born At Night was to record it yourselves (as you did with "Bury A Flower"). Did any self-recorded material make it onto Strangers?

We did start off recording the new record ourselves. We did bass, drums and some guitars at a friend's studio with Justin (Wertz, Meneguar's bass player) doing all of the engineering. We continued working on it at home, but we hit a wall with what sounds we wanted and what sounds we were actually capable of getting with what little gear we had. So we went to another friend's studio (The Civil Defense, in Brooklyn) for vocals, random overdubs and mixing. We kept doing overdubs at home and at the practice space, and we put it all together in the studio. Both of the Woodsist LPs are being recorded at home and will sound a little more like the "Bury A Flower" 7 inch, which I still think sounds great.

5. What do the next six months look like for Meneguar?

We've just about finished mixing the new record and we're just putting on the finishing touches (art work, song order, etc.). It'll be released late summer/early fall and right around then we'll tour Europe, the UK and the states soon after that. We're gonna dive into the world of music videos soon, too...

Meneguar -- "House Of Cats" -- I Was Born At Night
Meneguar -- "The Temp" -- I Was Born At Night
[right click and save as]

[Buy I Was Born At Night and "Bury A Flower" single from Troubleman here]

Meneguar: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | GoogleVideo | Flickr

Read earlier Show Us Yours features:

Show Us Yours #1: Shapes And Sizes
Show Us Yours #2: Dirty On Purpose
Show Us Yours #3: Relay
Show Us Yours #4: Mobius Band
Show Us Yours #5: Frightened Rabbit
Show Us Yours #6: Assembly Now

March 17, 2007

Today's Hotness: Voxtrot, Modest Mouse, The Cure

Voxtrot>> The InterWeb is abuzz this morning with word that the forthcoming debut full-length from Texas-based indie pop act Voxtrot has leaked, although it is not due until May 22. We rarely seek out leaks, and this is no exception. We were underwhelmed by the band's most recent EP, Your Biggest Fan, and we even thought the Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP lacked some of the passion and songcraft of Voxtrot's debut EP Raised By Wolves, which included the great track "The Start Of Something" we link to below. We'll be interested to hear Voxtrot when it is released, but there is plenty of indie rock to listen to in the meantime...

Voxtrot -- "The Start Of Something" -- Raised By Wolves EP
[right click and save as]

>> For example, the new Modest Mouse record, all of which is currently posted to the band's MySpace yert here. We hadn't heard any of the leaked tracks yet (like we said above, rarely) but did read initial negative message board reaction with concern. We're pleased to report that We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, the band's 7th record which streets Tuesday, sounds great. It is certainly consistent with the most recent Modest Mouse stuff, which is to say there is a lot less jagged dissonance and meth-rattled ranting. But band leader Isaac Brock has pop genius skills to burn, as proved by the prior Modest Mouse record Good News For People Who Like Bad News, and we continue to hear a welcome, latter-period Cure influence creeping into the music. And you know what? We don't like that fellow from The Shins singing on the one track -- it's distracting. Modest Mouse has already announce a short slate of tour dates to promote the release of We Were Dead... (or as Ian Mackaye recently said in an excellent interview with Ian Svenonious on VBS's absolutely great Soft Focus web show, the release promotes a slate of tour dates). You can check out all the MM tour dates at Pollstar here. Finally, a recent Q+A in Billboard includes information that Brock is working on reviving his Ugly Casanova sideproject. Good news.

>> Speaking of The Cure, this semi-cryptic message at the band's web site indicates Robert Smith and his merry men will embark on a world tour later this year, beginning in the Far East and Oceania. We hope this is a tour to support the release of the anticipated DVD collection of Cure videos collecting material from year's past including "In Orange" and a number of other things we've never seen. We do have the "Staring At The Sea" video collection on VHS, but VHS tapes are basically useless to us now. The Cure is also in the middle of an ambitious effort to re-release its catalog in expanded editions, and this alleged tour could be in support of the release of the next batch, which should include expanded versions of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration. Well, actually, according to this article the tour is to support a forthcoming new set that Smith describes as similar to Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in that the record includes a wide variety of material. There are enough songs for a double album, but Smith says half of them will make the physical release and the other half will be issued in some digital manner. Perhaps most importantly to us, Smith states that on the set keyboard is being used "very sparingly," which we like to hear since we are of the opinion Kiss Me is near-ruined by the overuse of keyboards.

>> Hear anything interesting relating to indie rock? Let us know about it by emailing wehearclickyclicky at gmail dot com.

March 15, 2007

Haywood's As Long As There Is Track... Back On Track

The thick-glasses-wearin'-est, One Stars-rockin'-est corner of the indie world's version of Chinese Democracy, otherwise known as Haywood's second posthumous release As Long As There Is Track, I Will Not Go Back, is a few shuffling steps closer to being released. Which is, of course, a certain kind of amazing, since it was made long after the band had saluted us from the bow the first final time, the waves greedily slurping the chaps down into the murky depths of various respectable adulthoods. Don't believe us? Check out the erstwhile Brooklyn indie rock quartet's MySpace dojo here (well, actually, here), where you can also stream four cuts from the long-awaited set. And look, we've got the cover art right there in the left-hand corner.

We accept that our attention to this pending release is a bit ridiculous, but Haywood has been one of our favorite bands since we heard their first single, and, hey, we run this blog, so deal with it. For those of you who don't know what we're talking about, we can refer you to items we published previously here and here and even here and here at Junkmedia's World of Sound. In fact, since the release of As Long As There Is Track... has been so long in the making, we can recycle a lot of that last WoS item. Here:

"So as we breathlessly announced [14 months ago], there is a new Haywood record in the offing, and it's called As Long As There Is Track, I Will Not Go Back. This is in spite of the fact that the band broke up in late 2000, months before their last and supposedly final record We Are Amateurs, You And I was released by the nice folks over at Self Starter Foundation. The short story behind this phoenix move is that primary Haywood songwriter Ted Pauly just couldn't stop writing material, and around 2003 he played the demos for his chum Rob V, Haywood's drummer (and damn near the finest rock drummer going, in our opinion). People got excited, studio time was booked, songs were tracked, and here we are in 2006 with a new platter. Well, there's a lot more to it than that, but we'll save it for another time."

There is a fair amount of free Haywood to be had around the Interweb (not to mention Pauly's excellent and typically devastating solo stuff at his MySpace, linked above). How about we point to some here?

Haywood -- "Button Up, Buttercup" -- We Are Amateurs, You And I
Haywood -- "Plow" -- We Are Amateurs, You And I
Haywood -- "Ogden" -- Men Called Him Mister
Haywood -- "The Kids Are Taking Aim" -- Men Called Him Mister
[right click and save as]

[Buy Haywood records from Self Starter Foundation; if you don't own these as well as their first CD Model For A Monument you are leading a seriously deficient life]

March 14, 2007

YouTube Rodeo: Oasis' "Fade Away" A Bunch Of Ways

Something about watching the video for the new Arctic Monkeys single "Brianstorm" made us just want to watch Oasis videos at YouTube. We think the mental link was something like, well, we prefer the biggest thing out of the U.K. from 13 years ago to last year's model. We usually do. We're not actually a big Oasis fan at all. But we do love with a capital "L" the song "Fade Away," which as far as we can tell was first issued Oct. 10, 1994, as the fourth and final track of the "Cigarettes And Alcohol" single (which, incidentally, has an awesome sleeve design). And there are a bunch of great clips on the YouTube, as you might expect, what with Oasis being one of the biggest bands going in pop music for much of the '90s. So anyway, here is a clip of the band allegedly shot at Wetlands in New York, 1994. The clip atop this item is allegedly rare, and includes what the description at YouTube states is either the first live performance of the song by the band or the band's first performance at Glastonbury. The description is unclear, but no matter, it's also from 1994, like the rest of them we're posting here. A nice multi-camera job with OK, not great, sound. And as one commenter quips, there are some pretty great haircuts in the crowd shots. Yes, kiddies, we really did look like that in the '90s.

This one from Tokyo starts off promising, but then the camera person starts fiddling wi the zoom. It's too bad they couldn't get a good shot of anybody besides Liam, although this is his most engaged performance of any we link to here. No, actually, this clip has the most engaged Liam, and it actually is shot from a great angle above the stage so you can see the crowd bounce and the lights swing around. A pretty great clip, all in all. Finally, this clip is from the Metro in Chicago, and it is a multi-camera job with pretty sterling sound. It is apparently also included on the DVD packaged with the Oasis hits collection Stop The Clocks.

March 13, 2007

YouTube Rodeo: Meneguar Unleashes "1,000 Actors"

Finding this video tonight gives us an excuse to tell you a couple things. One, if you are in the Boston area at the end of the month you would be making a big mistake if you miss Meneguar's show at Tufts. Two, the next installment of Show Us Yours will feature the eight-legged, Brooklyn-based, ass-kicking rock machine and its practice space, and it will go online Monday. OK [we should also note that we are about to send our laptop to Dell for some service -- as we have Mrs. Clicky Clicky's laptop as a back-up, there should be no interruption in your CC service. But in case we disappear for a day or two, that is probably why]. Now some words about this video of Meneguar performing "1,000 Actors." The sound and video quality is very good, particularly in comparison to some of the other Meneguar video clips online.

But it is the breakdown at about 3:15 into the clip where things get especially riveting. The guitars drop into an understated groove and stretch out and feedback, and it's the most nuanced thing we've heard the band do. And they do it for about a minute until the song just explodes. We know we said the same thing about this Frightened Rabbit clip here a couple months ago, but that doesn't make it any less true. It is really something else. Definitely watch it. And then make sure to check back in Monday for Show Us Yours #7 featuring Meneguar.

March 12, 2007

Free Range Music: Tim Bracy, Logh, Dirty On Purpose

Tim Bracy>> Large-Hearted Boy here hipped us to a new recording from Mendoza Line principal Tim Bracy. Mr. Bracy has contributed the cut "Rare Entertainment" to help promote a new novel "Heart Shaped Box" by a fellow named Joe Hill. The track is streaming here, and you can download it wrapped in a .zip file at that link as well. "Rare Entertainment" recalls Bracy's work in his Mendoza Line-less but Shannon McArdle-Bracy-fortified side project Slow Dazzle, which released the very good The View From The Floor in 2005. While we're talking about Mendoza Line, let's again lament here the lack of any information in the blogosphere about an EP and "hits" "collection" supposedly in the offing with Misra Records. We're not sure if the recent reconfiguration of Misra and certain personnel has changed those plans, which we first reported here (11 months ago) and here respectively, at all. But if we learn something we will let you know.

Tim Bracy -- "Rare Entertainment"

>> Swedish slow-core movers and shakers Logh are giving away the first single off their forthcoming set North for free. As we've discussed elsewhere, it is called "Saturday Nightmares" and it is a bit too singer-songwritery for our tastes. But it is growing on us. Here is the MP3 below, with which you can develop your own opinions. The sextet's fourth full-length will be released in Sweden on Bad Taste March 28 and will be available throughout Europe April 9. No word yet on UK and US releases.

Logh -- "Saturday Nightmares" -- North
[right click and save as; pre-order North here]

>> Brooklyn nu-gaze quartet Dirty On Purpose has posted a live version of its tune "Car No Driver" for download at its MySpace wigwam here. And as usual we can't get the link to work at MySpace so we aren't hot-linking the file here. The track was recorded live at The Earl in Atlanta just last week. As we noted recently, "Car No Driver" is our least-favorite Dirty On Purpose track. And this version doesn't change that. But we think the band is the bee's knees, so check it out.

>> No Idea is now streaming in its entirety veteran indie act J. Church's The Horror Of Life right here. Definitely stick around to hear "Tomorrow And Forever," which has a verse featuring an irresistible Smiths bass bounce. J. Church main man Lance Hahn is a pop-punk genius.

>> Hear anything interesting relating to indie rock? Let us know about it by emailing wehearclickyclicky at gmail dot com.

March 11, 2007

Show Us Yours #6: Assembly Now

Assembly Now, Deptford, LondonLondon-based Assembly Now, which charmingly and self-deprecatingly refers to itself as Ass Now, has burst out of the rock 'n' roll gates with two air-tight singles, and it doesn't appear to be letting up any time soon (get a load of the details in the answer to question five below). The two-year-old quartet's small catalog recalls early, sparer Bloc Party, but Assembly Now's music carries a frenetic pop undertone that gives it a singular flavor.

Enamored with the propulsive melodicism and the curious mention of rollerskating in the band's debut single "It's Magnetic" b/w "Out On 24s," we got in touch with the band to see if it would submit to our usual battery of "what's going on" and "what's your practice space like" questions. And we're happy to report that the band, or at least drummer Andrew "Lush" Lusher, obliged, and in doing so provided us with the artiest practice space picture we've received from a band to date for our Show Us Yours features (early visitors to the band's new bulletin board have already seen part of it). The band has no current plans to visit the U.S. at the moment, so unless you live in the UK or are planning on visiting soon (see all their current bookings here), this is as close as you're going to get. Get comfy. So about that practice space...

1. Why do you use this space?

It's located in Deptford, which is basically the ghetto of London. Every day there's some sort of police chase or gang bust-up, so naturally it's the cheapest place to practice because no one wants to go there. However, we haven't figured out yet if saving money is worth getting knifed by a screaming homeless guy reeking of piss and crack. We also have a profound attachment to 'The Starry Night' by Van Gogh, and we wanted a rehearsal space that emulated those hypnotic shades of blue.

2. Explain how an idiosyncracy or quirk of this space or a former practice space has affected a song (or even your overall sound).

The walls are covered in carpet, so the room is completely dead-sounding. We occasionally enjoy creating tight sections of music with distinct spaces between notes, so the lack of natural reverb in the room probably has something to do with that. The vocal PA is also annoyingly quiet, so we've learned to control our volume at certain points which creates interesting dynamics in songs. We can't just have loud songs all the time because we'd never hear the singer.

In terms of actual writing and inspiration, we tend to write first in someone's bedroom with the lights down low and then bring those half-completed ideas into the rehearsal studio. Most of the songs we write from scratch in our little blue room tend to be extremely technical and self indulgent, which is fun for us to play but ultimately ends up sounding less like Don Caballero and more like Assembly Now Being Shit. There are exceptions though; "Calculate" was mostly written in the rehearsal space, you can hear that on our Myspace profile. We might have just got lucky with that one though.

3. You walk into your space. What's the first thing you smell? Why?

Teenage man-sweat, stale smoke and carpet. Who knows why, perhaps it's just the way of things. Zen. The rehearsal room is both everything and nothing.

4. We see producer Howard Gray worked on one of your singles. Did he offer any anecdotes about his time working on The Cure's The Head On The Door sessions? Barring that, how did he affect the sound of "It's Magnetic"/"Out On 24s"?

Howard Gray is a recording studio wizard, a modern-day audio Gandalf. If something isn't working, he'll sit intently in the corner stroking his beard. After a few minutes he'll suddenly glide out of his chair and twiddle dials or move microphones and things magically come to life. He has loads of war stories about The Cure and U2 and all those bands, but he'd probably turn us into newts if we mentioned any of them in public.

5. What do the next six months look like for your band?

We've just finished a handful of new songs with producer John Fortis, who has done records for everyone from The Prodigy to Art Brut to Razorlight, so we'll be releasing those on the Internet in a couple of weeks. We're doing a few dates on the VICE tour with The Noisettes and Goodbooks in March, John Kennedy has asked us to do an XFM session at the end of March, we've got our own headlining tour booked for April, a support tour with an amazing band called The Wombats in May/June and we'll definitely be doing a few UK festivals in summer. There's also been talk of doing another single or EP, we haven't decided what yet. Oh yeah, getting a record deal might be nice too. We're keeping busy.

How about a couple A-sides, courtesy of the Assembly Now site?

Assembly Now -- "It's Magnetic" -- It's Magnetic b/w Out On 24s
Assembly Now -- "Leigh-On-Sea" -- Leigh-On-Sea b/w Tenement
[right click and save as]

Assembly Now: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

Read earlier Show Us Yours features:

Show Us Yours #1: Shapes And Sizes
Show Us Yours #2: Dirty On Purpose
Show Us Yours #3: Relay
Show Us Yours #4: Mobius Band
Show Us Yours #5: Frightened Rabbit

March 10, 2007

Panthers Rep Goblin City, Rock Out Like Crazy [MP3]

Panthers Live, December 2004, Photo By Kate[PHOTO CREDIT: "KATE"] You like Black Sabbath? Fu Manchu? Then you are going to dig this a lot. A couple months back the nice folks at Vice sent along a virtual promo of Panthers' (no, not Panther) forthcoming set The Trick. After a couple listens we emailed back and said, hey, this is a hot record, can we post the tune "Goblin City," because it rocks like crazy. Vice said something along the lines of "all in due time, rock fan, all in due time." Well, that time has come. In the song, which opens the new album, Panthers singer Jayson Green proclaims "we live in Goblin City, and it feels outrageous." Now you can feel it, too. As far as we can tell Goblin City is where people listen to heads-down, stoner metal boogie all the time. The band refers to The Trick, its third full-length, as its Reign In Blood; Vice will release it April 10. Panthers play two showcases at SXSW next week, during which you'll be able to hear some of the new tracks, and hopefully its formidable cover of Pink Floyd's electric howler "Nile Song" (which you can download from the band's MySpace dojo here. Do it). While we're told a full tour is in the planning stages, there are a few non-Texas tour dates already inked, which we've posted below the MP3 of "Goblin City."

Panthers -- "Goblin City" -- The Trick
[right click and save as; download three more Panthers tracks from Vice here]
[Pre-order The Trick from Newbury Comics here]

03/18 -- Hamden Masonic Temple -- Hamden, CT.
03/24 -- Black Cat -- Washington, DC
03/26 -- Bowery Ballroom -- New York, NY

Panthers: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

March 8, 2007

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Dirty On Purpose

While they may be our most "bandstanded" band, it has been quite a long time since we've checked in on Brooklyn quartet Dirty On Purpose. Almost five months, actually. But today we watched a pretty intense clip at BaebleMusic of the band performing a new track we don't know the name of live. As you might imagine, if you click the link above you, too, can watch the video. It's warts and all, so you may hear a couple guitar flubs in there, but more importantly the clip shows the band's increasing facility with big dynamics and bigger moments. It's exciting to watch.

As we've reported elsewhere, Dirty On Purpose's debut full-length Hallelujah Sirens was released on North Street last June [read our review here], and according to Dirty On Purpose's MySpace hacienda it ended up on a number of year-end lists. Our take was that the record comprised "a solid set of moody, guitar-geared indie rock numbers, many of them beautiful and affecting ("Fake Lakes," "Kill Our City") and some with engaging compositional touches ("Always Looking," "Always Looking 2")." Since the album's release the act has created a couple videos that you can watch on the InterWeb (here's the Olivia Newton-John/aerobics one, and here's the new one for "Car No Driver," which is actually our least favorite DOP song, and, well, the video isn't really changing our mind). But none of that is why we're here today. The reason we're here is to show you some tour dates, which we've posted below. Surprise, surprise, the band will represent at SXSW. But then they will do a whole lot more representing out west and then back east. Download the old chestnut "Mind Blindness" and peruse the dates why don't you?

Dirty On Purpose -- "Mind Blindness" -- Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow
[right click and save as]
[Buy Hallelujah Sirens from Newbury Comics here]

Dirty On Purpose: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

03/09 -- New World Brewery -- Tampa, Florida
03/10 -- Common Grounds -- Gainesville, Florida
03/11 -- Cafe Eleven -- St. Augustine, FL
03/12 -- Beta Bar -- Tallahassee, FL
03/14 -- Beauty Bar -- Austin, TX
03/15 -- Antone's -- Austin, TX
03/16 -- Maggie Mae's -- Austin, TX
03/19 -- The Paper Heart -- Phoenix, AZ
03/20 -- Echo -- Los Angeles, CA
03/22 -- Detroit Bar -- Costa Mesa, CA
03/23 -- Rickshaw Shop -- San Francisco, CA
03/25 -- Kilby Court -- Salt Lake City, UT
03/26 -- Hi-Dive -- Denver, CO
03/27 -- Jackpot -- Lawrence, KS
03/28 -- The Waiting Room -- Omaha, NE
03/29 -- Schubas Tavern -- Chicago, IL
04/07 -- DC9 -- Washington, DC
04/14 -- Bowery Ballroom -- New York, NY

March 7, 2007

Meet The Mitchells Again For The First Time [MP3s]

The MitchellsWe find it hard to believe we've never encountered The Mitchells before, what with the band being both a long-running concern and one based in Northampton, Mass., a town in which we saw a lot of live rock and roll in the mid-'90s. But we guess stranger things have happened. The quartet, recently downsized to a trio, formed in 1994 and is fronted by the most recent New Radiant Storm King bassist Caleb Whetmore. Unsurprisingly, there are a number of sonic parallels between The Mitchells and New Radiant Storm King (also Boston's excellent The Beatings, although for the sake of our comparison we'll concentrate on NRSK). Both acts trade in tunes that strike weighty balances between melody and discord, angularity and convention. Both acts rock.

The Mitchells' urgent "Still Might Happen" (MP3 below) from its recently released fourth long-player Slow Gears recalls music from the most recent NRSK set The Steady Hand, maybe "Scuttled" or "Accountant Of The Year," which makes sense since that is the record Whetmore played on. We are surprised that we kind of favor Slow Gears to The Steady Hand; the former set is more taut and economical, while The Steady Hand was exceedingly glossy relative to classic early NRSK such as Rival Time. Anyhoo, based on a couple sessions with the full-album stream here, Slow Gears is stacked with great indie rock songs front to back. The way the guitar lines slither over one another at the end of "R.I." will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. If you don't believe us, then check out the MP3 below. The Mitchells play P.A.'s Lounge in Somerville, MA Friday March 30 (that's a big weekend for music, what with the Meneguar show at Tufts the next night). Slow Gears was issued Jan. 23 on Pigeon.

The Mitchells -- "Still Might Happen" -- Slow Gears
The Mitchells -- "R.I." -- Slow Gears
[right click and save as; more Mitchells MP3s can be found here]

Stream all of Slow Gears right here. Highly recommended.

The Mitchells: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

March 6, 2007

Show Us Yours #5: Frightened Rabbit [MP3s]

Frightened Rabbit's The Diving BellSo, apparently some band from Canada put out a record today or something? Gameroom something? Something Conflagration? No matter. Today we once again in our way highlight the fickle nature of the blogosphere by not commenting on the Arcade Fire record turning our attention to Scotland. More specifically we're revisiting one of our favorite discoveries from January, the Glaswegian indie trio Frightened Rabbit. As we noted here and here at the time, the somewhat mysterious band of wrestling mask aficionadoes made a whirlwind tour of selected pockets of America in January on the strength of their dynamite debut Sing The Greys, which has inspired substantial fandom stateside despite its not having been released domestically yet. Below surnameless Frightened Rabbit guitarist Billy talks shop about the band's rehearsal space The Diving Bell (pictured supra) and, among other things, notes the benefits of a Scottish accent and the frustrations of American toilets. We round out the piece with the usual MP3s and links. Enjoy.

1. Why do you use this space?

The Diving Bell is actually a lot like our band. It's a bit shabby and stinky and can sound terrible. But once you get in there and spend some time with it, it begins to feel like a wee house.

2. How has an idiosyncracy or quirk of this space has affected a song (or even your overall sound)?

I believe the value of this space lies in its contribution to the energy we put into our performances. It is always so darned cold in the room that we need to move A LOT to warm up. This then naturally translates to live shows which then results in some heavy sweating and stingy eyes.

3. You walk into your space. What's the first thing you smell? Why?

Actually, recently its been the smell of vanilla face cream and curry, as some young upstarts decided to attack the door with said products. Bastards.

4. In January you played a handful of U.S. dates. Did you bring the wrestling masks from your hysterical press photos? Did customs officers gaze upon them with looks of confusion? Anything particularly zany or frustrating happen while you were here in the States? Was the response of the U.S. audiences different in any way from the response you get from your home crowd in Glasgow?

We left the masks at home I'm afraid. In the current climate of terror, I don't think the US customs officers would have seen the funny side. However, they may have stripped myself and grant to our underpants, effectively recreating [some of] those photos. I feel like the response to the shows [in the U.S.] was a lot better than some we have done [at home]. I was able to tell all my shitty jokes and get away with it because of my accent. The New York audiences were particularly vocal, which is always good. The most frustrating thing was how high up the water is in American toilets. I'll leave it to the imagination as to how that became annoying for us.

5. What do the next six months look like for your band?

Next six months look fun. It'll hopefully include the recording of a second record, with a full release of our first album Sing the Greys in the USA. We're going to Texas next week, during which time we hope to eat a lot of meat. Any invites to festivals this summer will be met with a 'superyes' from us, so we hope to be doing a lot of foolish things in fields.

Here are two MP3s from Sing The Greys:

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

[Purchase Sing The Greys from Hits The Fan here]

Frightened Rabbit: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

Read earlier Show Us Yours features:

Show Us Yours #1: Shapes And Sizes
Show Us Yours #2: Dirty On Purpose
Show Us Yours #3: Relay
Show Us Yours #4: Mobius Band

March 5, 2007

Today's Hotness: Mahogany, Meneguar, Up Up Down Down etc.

Mahogany>> Brooklyn-based dream-pop stars Mahogany are celebrating its brief forthcoming European tour (April 14-20) with the release of a three-song EP recorded live in the band's studio Civil Defense. The aptly titled Live At The Civil Defense is exclusively available at the septet's MySpace lean-to here, where you will also find a comprehensive list of tour dates. When in the UK the band will play on bills with post-punkers Bloc Party and electronic luminary Ulrich Schnauss -- none too shabby. We reviewed Mahogany's most recent full-length Connectivity! here in October. Live At The Civil Defense contains re-recorded but vibrant versions of Connectivity!'s "Tesselation," "The View From The People Wall" and "1 Plus 1 equals 3 Or More."

>> Indie punk act Meneguar's hotly anticipated proper debut for Troubleman Unlimited is titled Strangers In Our House, and the band is currently mixing the set. Troubleman reissued Meneguar's triumphant I Was Born At Night last year after it was originally released the prior year on Magic Bullet. Additionally, Meneguar plans to issue two single-sided LPs around the same time Strangers In Our House is released. One LP will feature stuff Meneguar recorded at home and the other LP will feature the band covering unreleased tunes by friend James Jackson Toth. Finally, the Brooklyn-based quartet notes it is planning a tour of Europe and the U.K. in September. In the meantime, Meneguar has a couple dates booked stateside which we list below. We're extra psyched about the Boston date, obviously. Also, we'll use any excuse to post Meneguar's "The Temp," so here it is:

Meneguar -- "The Temp" -- I Was Born At Night
[right click and save as]

03/30 -- Yale Women's Center -- New Haven, CT
03/31 -- Oxfam Cafe at Tufts University -- Medford, MA

>> Criminally under-appreciated post-emo act Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start is playing an relatively rare live date March 19 in Philadelphia. Appleseed Cast and The Life And Times (shoegazey act on DeSoto featuring the former frontman of Shiner) are also on the bill, and the gig is at the First Unitarian Church. Yeah, it's a Monday night, but this band is awesome. UUDDLRLRBAS's Girls Names EP was one of our favorite releases of 2006 -- read our full list here. The band recently launched a web site featuring tons of free downloads and videos here, so go there now if you haven't already pillaged the coffers. Here are a few choice cuts to whet your appetite for the rock:

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start -- "Melanie Flury" -- Girls Names EP
Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start -- "Track 5" -- Live In The Studio EP
Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start -- "I'm Growing Out" -- The Internet EP
[right click and save as]

March 4, 2007

Review: Ted Leo And The Pharmacists | Living With The Living

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists -- Living With The LivingTed Leo presents a problem for us that we don't like to admit: we've been horribly remiss in obtaining his recordings. Sure, we've acquired all the freely available tunes over the years as they've been doled out by Mr. Leo himself at his site and also at other blogs. And, yes, we've heard our share of Chisel. But until the promo of Leo's glorious forthcoming Touch And Go debut Living With The Living came over the threshold into Clicky Clicky HQ, we never possessed any of his full-length recordings. This is not for a lack of wanting -- we've just always assumed we'd get the records at a show or pick up used copies somewhere along the way. And it hasn't happened yet. Life has a funny way of getting in the way. We go to the penalty box, and we feel shame.

This is a long way of explaining that we feel ill-equipped to assess the merits of Living With The Living as an album relative to his others. But we can tell you what you will be confronted with when you drop the laser on your copy of the CD when you buy it (actually, you should buy it now, as folks pre-ordering the record are being given the bonus EP Mo' Living with their purchase -- details here). The set is produced by Fugazi drum beater Brendan Canty, but is decidedly less austere than the recordings of Mr. Canty's erstwhile band. Leo and Canty aren't afraid to deploy overdubs, acoustic guitar or glorious feedback for feedback's sake. The result is ample sonic variety that makes the 15-tune amalgamation of love songs ("Colleen," "A Bottle Of Buckie") and anti-war tirades ("Bomb.Repeat.Bomb," the Queen-ish song sketch "Annunciation Day/Born On Christmas Day," "Army Bound") remarkably satisfying.

Leo dexterously assimilates the '80s rock he is passionate about (we hope you've heard his recent cover of Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark") with his post-punk past on Living With The Living. The set lightly sprawls across the two much in the same way The Clash's acclaimed London Calling captured and recast the Strummer and Jones' affection for trad rock, reggae and blues. Living With The Living highlight "La Costa Brava" melds Seven And The Ragged Tiger-era Duran Duran romanticism with the chart-friendly anthems of Combat Rock. "The Unwanted Things" captures Leo's re-imagining of the aforementioned Clash's "Revolution Rock," albeit with a smoother bass bounce where the Clash's tune bumps.

There is little that we'd refer to as filler and several tracks that we rate indispensable. Even the sound collage "Fourth World War" that opens the set is far from a throw-away, as it powerfully sets the stage for the driving anthem "Sons Of Cain" [MP3 below] while also setting the tone for the political aspects of the record. If we could change one thing, it's that we far prefer the demo version of "Army Bound" Leo released to the Internet last year to the cleaned-up version presented on Living With The Living. But since Leo gave the earlier version away for free, we're more than happy to have both. So how about a taste? MP3s and full tour dates are below.

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists -- "The Sons Of Cain" -- Living With The Living
Ted Leo And The Pharmacists -- "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb. (1954)" -- Living With The Living
[right click and save as]

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr | Wikipedia

03.28 -- Theater Of Living Arts -- Philadelphia, PA
03.29 -- 930 Club -- Washington, DC
03.30 -- Cat's Cradle -- Carrboro, NC
03.31 -- Variety Playhouse -- Atlanta, GA
04.01 -- The Social -- Orlando, FL
04.02 -- Studio A -- Miami, FL
04.04 -- Chelsea's Cafe -- Baton Rouge, LA
04.05 -- Numbers -- Houston, TX
04.07 -- La Zona Rosa -- Austin, TX
04.09 -- The Clubhouse -- Tempe, AZ
04.10 -- Epicenter -- San Diego, CA
04.13 -- El Ray Theater -- Los Angeles, CA
04.16 -- Hawthorne Theatre -- Portland, OR
04.17 -- Showbox -- Seattle, WA
04.18 -- Richards on Richards -- Vancouver, BC
04.20 -- The Venue -- Boise, ID
04.21 -- Club Sound -- Salt Lake City, UT
04.22 -- Gothic Theater -- Englewood, CO
04.23 -- Bottleneck -- Lawrence, KS
04.25 -- First Avenue -- Minneapolis, MN
04.26 -- Club 770 -- Madison, WI
04.27 -- The Picador -- Iowa City, IA
04.28 -- Metro -- Chicago, IL
04.30 -- Magic Stick -- Detroit, MI
05.02 -- The Mod Club -- Toronto, ON
05.03 -- La Sala Rossa -- Montreal, QC
05.04 -- Avalon -- Boston, MA
05.05 -- Webster Hall -- New York, NY

March 3, 2007

Weekend Hotness: The Get Quick, Fields, Pernice Brothers, Wilco

The Get Quick, as a threesome>> Word straight from Erik Evol of Philly power pop foursome The Get Quick is that the band's forthcoming sophomore set is titled See You In The Crossfire. The release will include the video for "Lose It All" we posted here a couple weeks back. Technical issues encountered getting the video on the disc pushed back its release to later in the spring, which in turn scotched The Get Quick's hopes of a big splash at the Rainbow Quartz South By Southwest showcase. No matter -- it sounds like the record is a real barn-burner. To quote Evol, its "a no-holds-barred buzzsaw rush of songs designed to melt your face off from the get-go." Longtime fans will be pleased to hear a revamped version of the old Mantaray numbers "Chemical Reaction" and the Beatles cover "She Said, She Said." Evol also promises that the old psych, avante and Bowie influences rear their heads. We're hoping to get an early listen to the set and we'll let you know just how badly you need it once we do. The Get Quick released its debut How The Story Goes on Rainbow Quartz in 2005.

>> Fields fans in search on an early taste of the band's new single "Charming The Flames," which streets this coming week as we noted here earlier, can hear the track via its new video posted here. We are digging the track's dense sound, although we wouldn't count it among the band's lyrical high points. And, like the video for "If You Fail We All Fail" that we wrote about here in November, the slick video comes off dull and superficial compared to the very fine clip produced for Fields' excellent track "Brittlesticks." The quintet will issue their debut long-player Everything Last Winter in the US May 8 via Atlantic.

>> Prime-time television lightning has struck twice for Joe Pernice's The Pernice Brothers. Tuesday night's episode of The Gilmore Girls will feature the band's "Conscience Clean (I Went To Spain)" According to Mrs. Clicky Clicky the episode features somebody or a couple somebodies going on a road trip. So the song seems appropriate. Although would "PCH One" be more appropriate? We guess we'll have to watch. Maybe.

>> More Cowbell tells us here that Wilco will stream for an unknown duration its forthcoming set Sky Blue Sky tonight at 10PM Central Time at Wilcoweb here. So if you don't have anything going on, there you go. Wilco's Nth album Sky Blue Sky will be released May 15 by Nonesuch.