August 11, 2010

Today's Hotness: Pastel Group, The Answering Machine, E.R.

Pastel Group
>> We don't know much about Boston's Pastel Group beyond its music (well, and that Nick Pastel restores furniture, which is actually tres awesome), but it is a very strong calling card indeed. The brilliant, new-ish act -- which incorporates a certain New Romantic patience with a gently fractured pop sensibility -- was apparently commissioned in 2009 as a trio. However, a personnel listing at Pastel Group's MySpace wigwam now contains five names; Facebook, of course, lists three people, so who knows; we sent an exploratory email to the band via its MySpace and eagerly await a response. The apparent quintet released earlier this summer the free Jamaica Plain EP, so named because that is the section of Boston from which Pastel Group hails. A second, related EP is slated for release sometime this coming fall. Jamaica Plain is available for free download at this link; in an innovation we've never encountered before, Pastel Group has somehow made it so the EP downloads from Google Docs. The EP's four songs are "Midwestern Sun," "Mistreated," "On This Night" and "Opinions And Thoughts," and they are all winners. To whet your appetite, here's an embed of that last track, a relatively guitar-oriented bleeper that shines brightly.

Pastel Group's "Opinions And Thoughts"

>> According to this post to the band's MySpace blog, the first single from The Answering Machine's forthcoming sophomore set Lifeline will be for the song "Animals." The Manchester, England-based quartet will promote "Animals" with a short slate of late October tour dates in its home town, London and Glasgow; the dates are posted at The Answering Machine's recently refreshed web site right here. We reported here last month that The Answering Machine plan to release the self-produced Lifeline worldwide in January.

>> Elsewhere in Boston: word is that Eldridge Rodriguez' long awaited You Are Released is, errrr.... a little closer to being released. The full-length, the second from the co-fronter of Boston's incendiary indie titans The Beatings, is currently being mastered and E.R. foresees a spring 2011 launch around the time of the annual SXSW confabulation. E.R.'s recent EP There's No Gray Area, No Middle Ground... You Are a Thief is now available through most if not all of your favorite digital music storefronts. Speaking of awesome, have you checked out the free 2009 Midriff Records sampler? It features tunes from most if not all of the cohort, including such fire-breathing classics as The Beatings' "All The Things You've Been Missing" and Eldridge Rodriguez' "Why I Fear The Ocean." But we'll just cut to the chase and say the reason you should download this RIGHT NOW is for The Beatings' cover of Beat Happening's "Indian Summer." Download the .zip file here. And we'll post "Indian Summer" below. The Beatings play House Of Blues, Boston's Front Room for free this Saturday, Aug. 14; E.R. plays Friday Aug. 20 at P.A.'s Lounge in Somerville. Get with that.

The Beatings -- "Indian Summer" -- 2009 Midriff Records Sampler
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[buy music from Midriff here, it will make them happy]

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