>> We've started considering what our year-end lists will look like, and one of the more difficult decisions is going to be where in the top five to place A Weather's Cove. We think the set is flawless, but the question that we'll grapple with over the next several weeks is whether the inspiration we derived from it exceeds that of other releases (the identities of which devoted readers can likely posit). We received A Weather's amazing debut late last year, reviewed it here in February, and it was officially released in March on Conor Oberst's Team Love imprint. It is a quiet, intimate and boundlessly sweet stunner. And yet the band has, likely unintentionally, remained somewhat enigmatic because of a very, very low profile. Sure, Pantsfork reviewed the record. But while A Weather toured the west in September, the Portland, Ore.-based quartet/sometimes quintet has never made it to the east coast in support of the record. At least as far as we know, and despite two band members being from New England and a third from Baltimore. But we continue to hope that we'll catch A Weather performing someday. Embedded above is the cute video for the album closer "It's Good To Know," which features prominent contributions from some stuffed animals, which puts the band on twee-ness par with London-based Psapp. Check back next month to see where Cove ends up on our list of the Best Records Of 2008.
>> [UPDATED] Philadelphia-based quintet Like A Fox, the latest vehicle de indie rock of long-time scenemaker Jay Laughlin, issued its sophomore full-length Where's My Golden Arm? last week. The music's kaleidoscopic mash of influences conveys an affinity for David Bowie and T. Rex filtered through modern indie pastiche proponents like Grandaddy and The Elevator Drops. That band leader Mr. Laughlin's singing voice is a dead ringer for that of Grandaddy's Jason Lytle reinforces that comparison song after song on Where's My Golden Arm?, particularly the tracks "On The Way" and the triumphant anthem "Been Sitting Here." Philly indie fans will recall that Laughlin previously fronted New Jersey's Lenola, a band that became dramatically more interesting to us after we learned that Laughlin previously played guitar in one of our favorite hardcore bands, Turning Point. Over the course of nine years Lenola released three full-lengths and scads of EPs and singles, although the final long-player -- a double album -- was only released in Europe and Japan, according to this Wikipedia entry. At any rate, Like A Fox takes Lenola's skewed pop tendencies and layers in light electronic tones and beats, more often than not over a bed of acoustic guitar. Transit Of Venus issued Where's My Golden Arm? Oct. 28, and the label has been cool enough to let us give away a copy of the record. The first person to email us (address is in the sidebar) a message with the words "Golden Arm" in the subject line will receive the CD in the mail from us in short order. In the meantime, here's an MP3 to whet your appetite, again courtesy of the fine folks at Transit Of Venus. [Congratulations to reader Jeff for winning a copy of Where's My Golden Arm?]
Like A Fox --
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[buy Where's My Golden Arm? from Transit Of Venus right here]