August 5, 2008

Today's Hotness: The Hold Steady, Report Suspicious Activity

>>We love this song. This performance by The Hold Steady of "Constructive Summer" was shot on a rooftop under a setting sun and presumably in the band's hometown, Brooklyn. The rendition in the clip, posted here to Pitchfork.TV Monday, is a little sleepier than the hard-hitting recording that opens the band's recently issued Stay Positive. But the band seems to enjoy giving "Constructive Summer" a more leisurely workout, and even a lighter pace can't dull how wonderful this track is.

>> After Brooklyn-based hardcore foursome Report Suspicious Activity issued its excoriating anthem "Subtle" in 2005 we breathed a sigh of relief. Relief because it seemed that a contemporary hardcore act -- albeit one that included scene legend Vic Bondi, formerly of Articles Of Faith -- was finally standing up and taking direct shots at a government administration that deserved much more criticism and rancor than had been lobbed at it to date. Report Suspicious Activity singer Bondi offered this insight in the excellent "American Hardcore" documentary about life during the Reagan Administration, and it seems equally apt these days: "Everyone was saying it was 'morning in America.' Someone had to say, it's fucking midnight." "Subtle" offered such a wake-up call. Sadly, the song didn't snowball in popularity and incite a critical re-thinking of government among the American people. But Bondi and his cohorts (including J. Robbins) are about to give it another go with a sophomore record called Destroy All Evidence, which will be released by Alternative Tentacles Aug. 18. You can hear two tracks from the set at the band's MySpace drive-thru here (we think we already wrote about these late last year, they're not as aggressive or inspiring as "Subtle"), and you can check out the awesome cover art here. And just because we can't get enough, here's the song we can't stop mentioning, along with another, ahem, choice hardcore number.

Report Suspicious Activity -- "Subtle" -- Report Suspicious Activity
Uniform Choice -- "Screaming For Change" -- Screaming For Change
[right click and save as]
[buy Report Suspicious Activity records from Newbury Comics here]
[buy Screaming For Change from right here]

>> Welsh tweecore septet Los Campesinos! will release its second full-length of 2008 in North America in November, according to a post at its web site. The set, titled We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, will appear on Arts + Crafts, as did its delightful precursor Hold On Now, Youngster... Wichita will release the UK version of the new, 10-track record Oct. 13. It was produced by John Goodmanson in Seattle in June; Mr. Goodmanson has worked previously on records by Bikini Kill, Blonde Redhead and Sleater-Kinney. You can view the track listing at the band's web site here. Los Camp -- who are currently in Japan with Johnny Foreigner for the SummerSonic festival -- are giving away at their MySpace dojo the track "Death To Los Campesinos!," so we're posting it for download below. Enjoy.

Los Campesinos! -- "Death To Los Campesinos!" -- Hold On Now, Youngster...
[right click and save as]
[buy Los Campesinos! records from Newbury Comics here]

>> Because we tagged an MP3 in a way that bugs us, and that file was the last recording released by Mazarin's Quentin Stoltzfus, we've had in our mind the question "what's going on with Black Stoltzfus?" for quite a while. Black Stoltzfus being the name Mazarin chose after some hosers used legal threat to force the band to abandon the name. Over the weekend we hit the Googles and learned that Stoltzfus and accomplices unknown (the Black Stoltzfus MySpace outhouse lists one other member, Mickey Walker) are building a studio wherein they plan to record a new record. We found the info here at the old Mazarin web site, where we also learned that the name Black Stoltzfus is also likely to be discarded, which is fine with us, since we didn't care for it. An interview published here in June by Lunapark6 contains information that the band intended to record new material last month with an eye toward completing a record this fall for a Spring 2009 release. We await it eagerly.

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