January 7, 2008

Today's Hotness: Lilys, Kolya, Thinking Machines

>> Some good citizen has performed the public service of posting to YouTube a pretty good-sized hunk of sublime indie rockers Lilys performing "Can't Make Your Life Better" during the band's Dec. 21 show at Spaceland in Los Angeles. We've posted the video above. The performance is predictably loose and the video isn't great, but the sound isn't half bad. It is bracing to see bandleader Kurt Heasley putting his excellent material through its paces once more. The clip doesn't include the beginning or the end of the song, which is the quasi-title track from Lilys' triumphant 1997 diving curve-ball Better Can't Make Your Life Better. But even so, it rocks. We're hopeful the recent two-night stand in Los Angeles is a harbinger of more Lilys shows to come, as Mr. Heasley, et al., never made it to Boston in support of the band's most recent record, Everything Wrong Is Imaginary [review], during a two-week tour in 2006. Somewhere along the way we've acquired some audio that purports to be from the band's 2002 performance at Boston's Axis nightclub. So here is a pretty smoking live version of "Shovel Into Spade Kit," another song from Better Can't Make Your Life Better.

Lilys -- "Shovel Into Spade Kit (Live At Axis, Boston)" -- Better Can't Make Your Life Better
[right click and save as]
[buy Lilys records from Newbury Comics here]

>> Notable blog Built On A Weak Spot here shines a light on defunct, angular Boston emo trio Kolya, who we first saw opening for Atom And His Package at Brandeis about seven years ago. The vocal to Kolya's "The Story Becomes The Vehicle" always gives us chills, and we are glad to finally have a digital version, as we for some reason bought a cassette when we saw them way back in the day and haven't bothered to upgrade. The mix BOAWS offers is from the 7" release, and we think our cassette (it has a red insert with a woodcut or something as the graphic... we'll have to dig that up) featured a different version -- we seem to remember the urgent guitar riff being both louder and beefier on the cassette.

>> Glancing around Built On A Weak Spot again we noticed the blog must have received the same pitch we did from aggressive Philadelphia-based indie threesome Thinking Machines. Thinking Machines' music vacillates between the melodic sonic onslaught of Superchunk and the taut jitters of New York-based Rahim. The trio releases the record A Complete Record Of Urban Archaeology next month, and you can stream the whole set right now at the band's Last.FM page here. We were compelled to stream "Maze," "Waste Of Time" and "Urban Archaeologist" more than a couple times, particularly the latter track, which layers in a punchy 3/4 bass part onto a 4/4 crunchy verse to grand effect. Last week Thinking Machines was giving away "Urban Archaeologist" at its Last.FM page, but it appears they've discontinued that, so here is a stream (click the little yellow triangle button). A Complete Record Of Urban Archaeology is already available at ITunes. [UPDATE: the link to Last.FM was wonking up our columns, so it has been removed. Click the links below to go there and hear the tune].

Thinking MachinesUrban Archaeologist

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