May 10, 2010

Today's Hotness: Lilys, The Secret History, Cannons

>> In our opinion the best half-hour of music broadcast every weekday is the first quarter of WMBR's long-running, completely crucial radio program Breakfast Of Champions. We typically capture a chunk of said half-hour whilst commuting, and therein we encounter songs pre-filtered for awesomeness by trustworthy sources. Allow us to digress further by directing your attention to the fact that this week Breakfast Of Champions' band of the week will be the Lilys, one of this blog's all-time, top-five favorite acts; you can hear the band of the week segment at 8:30AM US east coast time every day, and we strongly suggest you check it out.

>> The true purpose of the item above was to set up this one, in which we tell you about one of the acts we recently encountered on Breakfast Of Champions, The Secret History. Perhaps named for one of our favorite books, perhaps not, the curiously hyper-sartorial Brooklyn-based indie pop septet issued in March a full-length debut The World That Never Was on the label Le Grand Magistery. The Secret History's primary songwriter is a fellow named Michael Grace, Jr., formerly of the act My Favorite. Mr. Grace is abetted by a large cast, but apparently vocals are handled by Lisa Ronson, the daughter of the vaunted Bowie sideman Mick Ronson. The new collection is packed with somewhat theatrical narratives, but there is enough rock to keep things focused. The lead track seems to be the strongest: it's an upbeat, heavily Brit-pop influenced (think The Primitives; were they considered Brit-pop?) gem called "Johnny Anorak." Oh the beautiful guitars in this track, oh the terrifically hooky chorus. Have a listen.

The Secret History's "Johnny Anorak"

>> We've spent a lot of time recently listening to Philly-based post-hardcore quartet Cannons' debut long-player Friendly Muscles. The record reminds us of those years in the early '90s when everybody you knew had a band, and a lot of those bands were heavily influenced by D.C. hardcore generally, and Fugazi specifically. Of course, part of the magic of Fugazi was the band's visionary blend of hardcore, reggae and hip-hop, and it remains to be seen if Cannons will find a unique sonic identity and aesthetic that can similarly unify a nation of spiritually dispossessed youth. But the act has an energy and sound that fans of vintage D.C. sounds will find immediately palatable. The year-old Cannons self-released Friendly Muscles in early March, and they were cool enough to consent to our offering the awesome rocker "In Times Of Crisis, People Direct Traffic" below. Cannons has cycled through a series of bass players but has finally settled on a chap named Marcus, and the foursome aims to record five new songs for a planned EP later this year. There are two upcoming shows in Philadelphia, and we've listed those dates below.

Cannons' "In Times Of Crisis, People Direct Traffic"

05.12 -- The Khyber -- Philadelphia, PA
05.22 -- JR’s Bar -- Philadelphia, PA

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