June 29, 2008

Today's Hotness: The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Sea And Cake

The Jesus & Mary Chain
>> As a teen few things fired our imaginations more than Barbed Wire Kisses, the B-sides compilation from the notoriously surly, riot-inciting and now reunited Scottish act The Jesus And Mary Chain. The remarkable collection is stuffed with narcotic melodies and blasts of static and sonically references Bo Diddly and The Beach Boys. After exploring bands whose music we had presumed to be so extreme as to approach unlistenable -- and finding that in almost every instance that simply was not the case (Minor Threat, Public Enemy, for example) -- we were thrilled by the challenge posed by the dense, dark, trebly tracks of the aforementioned set. We remember circa 1989 an ill-fated vacation (mountain house with a toilet that flushed directly into the yard) during which we had this in our Walkman for days on end. Strangely, it was many years before we hunted down any of the rest of JAMC's catalogue, although we are certain we heard Psychocandy many times before shacking up with Mrs. Clicky Clicky, who has the title in her collection. Anyhoo, it was with great interest that we read Billboard's piece published here Wednesday that describes the forthcoming JAMC box set The Power Of Negative Thinking: B-sides And Rarities. The set will be issued by Rhino Sept. 30, and according to Billboard it is like Barbed Wire Kisses on steroids. Nineteen of 20 Barbed Wire Kisses tracks -- including our favorite, "Everything Is Alright When You Are Down" -- make the cut for inclusion among the box set's four discs, as do a number of previously unreleased tracks. The full track listing is at the link above. The Jesus And Mary Chain play four west coast dates in the U.S. in mid-July; check out the dates here.

>> Given our deep affinity for the band's mid-'90s output, we are always eager to give another record from The Sea And Cake a listen. And while we grow increasingly skeptical as years pass that a new set will resonate as strongly with us as The Biz or The Fawn, stranger things have happened. So we were excited by this news at Pantsfork that the Chicago quartet featuring Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt will issue Oct. 21 the curiously titled Car Alarm. Longtime label Thrill Jockey will do the honors. You can review the track listing and album art for the band's seventh set, and read some fairly repetitive remarks (TJ, let us know if you need an editor), right here.

>> Some show listings at Earfarm remind us that Icy Demons will issue its third long-player next month. We initially wrote about it early last month here. The post-rock outfit's Miami Ice will be released on its own Obey Your Brain imprint, and the collection features contributions from Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist and Prefuse 73/Sam Prekop collaborator Josh Abrams. Icy Demons will play Boston's Great Scott July 27, and if you are out on the Cape that week, fret not: the band plays The Beachcomber in Wellfleet the night before.

>> During our stint at the beach Aquarium Drunkard was getting things done. The blog published a very good interview with Julie Ocean and the first part of an interview with The Hold Steady's Craig Finn. We highly recommend reading both here and here respectively. Fun fact from the Finn feature: J. Mascis plays banjo on the forthcoming Hold Steady set Stay Positive, which is out next month.

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