January 31, 2010

Today's Hotness: Calories, William, Lali Puna, A Weather

>> Readers will recall that earlier this month we expressed excitement at the prospect of a forthcoming Tough Love Records split single featuring Calories and William. Well, DrownedInSound got the hook-up from the label and is hosting streams and downloads of two of the four tracks on the single, namely Calories' "The Mortal Boys" and William's "Lustreless." Unsurprisingly, these tracks are awesome. "The Mortal Boys" is a typically anthemic shout-along with Birmingham, England-based Calories, and while the band has yet to alter its formula too much we can't see ourselves tiring of it soon. William, as we stated in the earlier post, is new to us, and while we don't necessarily find the referential equation (D. Boon + straightedge + Stinsons) completely accurate, we still like very much what William is doing here (clattering drums, splayed out guitar squawl, desperate vocals). Due once again to the magic of SoundCloud, we are posting the streams below. And in case you are not familiar with the SoundCloud interface, you are able to download the tracks as MP3s if you click on the downward-pointing arrow icon at right. The split single will be released Feb. 15 (and ship two weeks prior) in a hand-numbered, limited edition of 500 in white vinyl packaged with a 'zine and download codes. You want this. It wants you. Buy Buy Buy.

Calories -- "The Mortal Boys"

William -- "Lustreless"

>> Another follow-up to an earlier item: after anticipating it for more than a year, perhaps more than two years, we were thrilled to see the news of Lali Puna's next record. Our Inventions is out April 6 on Morr Music, and we've been digesting the record for a couple weeks already. The set is something of a return to the band's minimal and electronic roots, as the foregrounded guitars of Faking The Books are largely whack-a-moled back into the mix for the new collection. The first promo track from Our Inventions evidences this, and now that we think about it most of the guitar therein is actually bass. The midtempo toe-tapper pairs fronter Valerie Trebeljahr's voice with partner Micha Acher's, but it is largely electronics in the fore that drive the track. Fans will find that Lali Puna's skill at crafting pretty and affecting electropop has not diminished during the band's five year absence. Dig the MP3.

Lali Puna -- "Remember" -- Our Inventions
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[buy Lali Puna records from Morr Music right here]

>> Word from Portland, Ore.-based slow-core standouts A Weather is that Magnet Magazine will debut an MP3 from the band's forthcoming sophomore set tomorrow Tuesday. The quintet is slated to released Everyday Balloons March 2 on Team Love, as we reported here in December. A Weather's debut Cove has been lauded in this publication a number of times; most recently we named it one of the best albums of the last decade here.

January 26, 2010

Johnny Foreigner Prep "Every Cloakroom Ever" Single, Tour, Write Songs, Drink Gin, And So Forth, Forever And Ever, Amen

Johnny Foreigner -- Every Cloakroom Ever
We regret being too busy in recent months to provide the microscopic coverage of Birmingham, England-based noise pop titans Johnny Foreigner per our usual modus operandi, and we're going to start making up for it right now. For example, did you know that the trio will finally issue a vinyl single from its superlative sophomore full-length Grace And The Bigger Picture? The single -- the third from the latest collection after the freebie "Feels Like Summer" and "Criminals" -- is for the track "Every Cloakroom Ever," and just Monday night (when we actually started typing this) the band announced the b-sides. These are two (of allegedly "like, 100") newly penned numbers "Chains" and the amazingly tited "Things I Would Have Swapped For Heart Shaped Sunglasses, 2001-6." What is even cooler is that the single is being fan financed, and if you pre-order the platter by Feb. 11 Johnny Foreigner's top serious staff artiste Lewes Herriot will include your name in the single art. More than a little awesome, yeh?

Those who pre-order will also receive high quality digital files of the tunes. The actual release date is still to be determined. Of note is the fact that the band states in one message it will be manufacturing the singles themselves. While we don't expect this is literally true, we think it is interesting that the band has struck some accord with its label Best Before that allows Johnny Foreigner to effect the making of the single (to whit: "th lovely adults who are incharge of us have consented finally to release a 7" single. um, rather, they've consented to letting us do it oursleves..."). But that makes us wonder, will "Every Cloakroom Ever" bear the Best Before imprint? Will Johnny Foreigner create a vanity label of its own under whose banner the single will be issued? We suppose time will tell.

In the meantime (we're coming to a close here, we promise), Johnny Foreigner do have a couple tranches of live dates to deliver on, including an extended jaunt to South Africa. So we think it would be foolish to expect to see "Every Cloakrook Ever" in your mailbox before March, what with the live commitments, which we list below. Finally, longtime readers may recall that "Every Cloakroom Ever" first surfaced in recorded form as a demo titled "Rhapsidy/This Trapeze Ball Thought Out," as posted here by our illustrious sister site KeepingSomeDarkSecrets.net. In case you missed it, here's the recording.

Johnny Foreigner -- "Rhapsidy a/k/a This Trapeze Ball Thought Out (Every Cloakroom Ever demo)"
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[buy Johnny Foreigner merch and order the new single right here]

02.01 -- Cabaret Voltaire -- Edinburgh
02.02 -- Ruby Lounge -- Manchester
02.03 -- The Harley -- Sheffield
02.05 -- Hare and Hounds -- Birmingham
02.06 -- Clwb Ifor Bach -- Cardiff, Wales
02.09 -- King’s College -- London

02.12 -- To South Africa

02.13 -- The Assembly -- Cape Town
02.17 -- Klein Libertas Theatre -- Stellenbosch
02.19 -- Hotbox Studios -- Pretoria
02.20 -- Roxy’s -- Johannesburg
02.26 -- RAMFEST -- Worcester

(Whew, that was a long one, and we really only just scratched the surface of what the band is up to. Make sure to read this to learn about supporting acts for the UK dates, and read this to learn where you can get more free Johnny Foreigner tracks)

January 20, 2010

Today's Hotness: Red Pens, Calories, The Labor Daze

>> Delightful Minneapolis-based noise pop duo Red Pens have it, and they are about to share it, and it is great. The act's full-length debut Reasons has a high anthem quotient and is packed with fizzing pop songs constructed out of drums, guitar and vocals. And then the whole shebang is swathed in dense, "Sister Ray"-ish fuzz. And while using The Velvet Underground as a reference point these days has sort of lost all meaning (ditto for Sonic Youth and The Beatles: virtually meaningless, people), it isn't entirely off-base either. Red Pens' limited personnel -- the band is guitarist and lead vocalist Howard W. Hamilton III and drummer Laura Bennett -- imbues its songs with the sort of primitive vibe of certain Velvets material. A fleshy embrace of grimy distortion, smart vocals and blissful melodies also recalls The Manhattan Love Suicides, for those of you hip to the now sadly defunct Leeds noiseniks. Album opener "Hung Out" is a clear winner, and we're sharing the track below. We also highly recommend the brooder "Weekends," which is slotted midway through the record and touts a big dynamic chorus. Reasons will be issued by Grain Belt Records Feb. 18; it appears the set was previously released in one form or another Sept. 15, 2009.

Red Pens -- "Hung Out" -- Reasons
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[buy Reasons from Grain Belt Records right here]

>> A helpful commenter points us to pre-order information for the forthcoming split single from Calories and William, which is slated for release Feb. 8. As big Calories fans, and as especially big fans of the Birmingham, England indie rock trio's tune "Drink The Potion," it is their side of the single we are primarily excited about. In addition to "Drink The Potion," Calories' plane also includes the track "Mortal Boys;" William's tunes are "Dilettante" and "Lustreless." The split is being issued by Tough Love in a limited edition of 500, and it is apparently the label's second in a series of double A-sided singles. According to the Piccadilly Records pre-order page for the single, William apparently sounds like 1/3 D. Boon, 1/3 straightedge and 1/3 Stinson brothers, which sounds incredibly enticing to us. Pre-order the single here.

>> Peppy, North Jersey-based indie foursome The Labor Daze is the latest act to send us a surprisingly good unsolicited submission. The band's five song Laika EP overcomes opaque production with solid songwriting somewhat reminiscent of the now sadly defunct, Michigan-based indie pop geniuses Rain Is Wet. Laika succeeds with its earlier, scritchier tunes "Introduction" and "Whitebread Standard," but slumps a bit when The Labor Daze delves into the heavier riffage elsewhere. It's probably too early in the band's career for it to have fixed on a signature sound, so it is anybody's guess whether the lighter pop will triumph over the cockier material in the long run; more optimistically, perhaps The Labor Daze will find an exciting way to meld the two. No matter, there are some nice moments on the EP, and the entire thing can be downloaded via a link at the band's MySpace dojo. We're posting "Whitebread Standard" below.

The Labor Daze -- "Whitebread Standard" -- Laika EP
[.M4A file; right click and save as]
[download the entire EP via the band's MySpace]

January 18, 2010

That Was The Show That Was: Mission of Burma | The Paradise | 16 Jan.

[File Photo: Jay Breitling] You’ve gotta give the guys in Mission Of Burma credit. They haven’t been content to just get the old band back together and play somewhat lucrative gigs at festivals and in college towns (I’m looking at you, Pixies).

Since reuniting in 2002, the storied Boston-based trio has already surpassed its 1979-1983 output: Mission Of Burma has released three excellent studio albums and managed to maintain the blistering live sound it developed the first time around. Over the weekend Burma played two shows at the Paradise to showcase material from its latest album, The Sound The Speed The Light (Matador).

On Saturday, the band played to a near-full house and, as with the several shows I’ve seen them do over the last eight years, they showed no signs of slowing down. Maybe they don't play as many gigs as they used to, but the ones they do play pack a punch. Unlike previous Burma shows, the crowd at the Paradise Saturday seemed a lot younger. Guitarist-singer Roger Miller and bassist-singer Clint Conley kept up a breakneck pace while drummer-singer Peter Prescott kept things light with plenty of his patented hollering and between-song wisecracks. Bob Weston provided tape loops from his perch at the mixing board.

Miller, whose problems with tinnitus led to the band’s 1983 breakup, no longer wears the industrial headphones onstage, opting for in-ear plugs. As with fellow ’80s indie rock guitar gods J. Mascis and Bob Mould, Miller continues to play at ear-splitting volume. Conley pounded out frenetic bass runs and seemed to have fun responding to Prescott’s remarks and pointing out familiar faces in the crowd.

The 75-minute set was packed with songs from the three newer albums -- "1, 2, 3 Partyy!!!" and "SSL83" from the latest release and "Spider's Web" and "2wice" from The Obliterati were standouts -- as well as choice cuts from the band's first incarnation. These included "The Ballad of Johnny Burma," "This is Not a Photograph," "Dumbbells," and the post-punk classics "Academy Fight Song" and "That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate." Conspicuously absent was the band’s signature song, "That’s When I Reach for My Revolver."

Burma also broke out a few brand new songs, including "Hi Fi," which Prescott announced was "fresh off the production line." If the new stuff is any indication, it looks like we can expect more great things from the band in the future. -- Jay Kumar

Mission Of Burma -- "1, 2, 3 Partyy!!!" -- The Sound The Speed The Light
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[buy Mission Of Burma releases from the band here]

Mission Of Burma: Internets | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

Previous Mission Of Burma Coverage:
That Was The Show That Was: Mission Of Burma | 6/14/2008
Today's Hotness: The Notwist, Mission Of Burma, Yah Mos Def
Today's Hotness: Hockey Night, The Cure, Mission Of Burma
Review: Not A Photograph | The Mission Of Burma Story [DVD]

Rock Over Boston | Wrens | Middle East | 1.16.2010

[Wrens at the Middle East, Cambridge, MA 1/16/2010. Photos by Michael Piantigini]

Wrens: Intertubes | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr

January 16, 2010

Be Prepared: Lali Puna | Our Inventions | 1st April

It's been more than five years (or just about five, if you count the comp I Thought I Was Over That: Rare, Remixed and B-Sides, which we reviewed for Junkmedia here), but Munich, Germany-based electropop luminaries Lali Puna are finally back with a new collection of music: Our Inventions will be released April 1 by Morr Music. We can tell you the collection is wonderful. A bit less guitar-oriented than the incredible prior release Faking The Books, but not as minimal as the stunning 1999 debut Tridecoder. Given the deliberate pace at which spouse, collaborator and Notwist fronter Markus Acher works, and the fact that the couple had a child in the last couple years, the lag between Faking The Books and Our Inventions is completely reasonable. But that doesn't diminish our excitement.

And Then This Happened | Varsity Drag and I, Pistol | Church

[Varsity Drag and I, Pistol at Church, Boston, MA 1/15/2010. Photos by Michael Piantigini]

Rock Over Boston | Joe Pernice | Lizard Lounge | 1.14.10

Joe Pernice
I am perpetually behind on my reading - probably because I'm spending too much time on this here series of tubes - but having now twice seen the author read a few pages from it, Joe Pernice's It Feels So Good When I Stop is begging to be bumped up the pile. His contribution to the 33 1/3 series, a novel about The Smiths' Meat Is Murder, hit a chord within those of us who have grown up marking time by an expanding music collection. The vibe of that book, along with the feeling of familiarity that you get from listening to a musician's work over a long period of time, exemplifies a sort of common aesthetic - one maybe even more specific than, say, Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, which had many of me and my music-obsessed cohort fairly creeped-out at how well he had captured our times. Pernice's view is more from the inside than Hornby's. The passage that Pernice read on Thursday night from his latest had the narrator's roommate singing along to Mudhoney, so yeah, been there.

Though Thursday night's show at the cozy, excellent beer list-having Lizard Lounge was ostensibly in support of that new novel and its scene-setting, all-covers soundtrack of the same title, Pernice played only one selection from it, Del Shannon's "I Go To Pieces," accompanied (on this and a few other songs) by Pernice Brother Bob Pernice on guitar and harmonies.

Of the handful he played, the highlight catalog track of the night was easily "Grudge Fuck," which goes back to Pernice's Scud Mountain Boys 1996 breakthrough classic, Massachusetts (and re-recorded on the Pernice Brothers' last one, 2006's Live A Little) I'd say that it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime classics for a songwriter, except Pernice has a few. "Bum Leg," from 2000's Big Tobacco is another, but we were deprived of this when Pernice was temporarily flummoxed by the somewhat elaborate requests being laid out by Boston rock impresario Billy Ruane. A few bars, a capo adjustment, and out.

All this made time for him to preview several new songs from his apparently completed, forthcoming in some as yet undetermined future, new album to be titled Goodbye Killer, according to Pernice. In the solo format at least, the new ones sound to like they are on the folkier end of Pernice's style; the narrative character driven stuff that he's so good at. If there's going to be as much of the sunny pop we love on Pernice Brothers albums on the new one - and Ric Menck's involvement suggests there is - we didn't get as much of that, but then it's been a while since we've spent time with this side of Joe Pernice anyway. These solo shows, which we wish were more frequent, are a rare treat.

-Michael Piantigini

Joe Pernice: Intertubes | MySpace | Facebook

Joe Pernice at the Lizard Lounge, 1/14/2010 Setlist:
Goodbye Killer (new)
We Love the Stage (new)
Man Descending (new, working title)
Grudge Fuck
(book chapter)
I'm Not the Loving Kind (new)
I Go To Pieces
Amazing Glow

January 14, 2010

Review: She Sir | Yens EP [MP3]

There are two phenomenal shoegaze acts operating out of Austin, Texas of which we are aware, and 2010 seems like it will be a big year for both the mighty Ringo Deathstarr and the more cerebral and mysterious She Sir. The latter act, as we noted here in late October, has been promising a follow-up to 2006's devastating full-length Who Can't Say Yes for some time. While the planned sophomore set Go Guitars has been delayed until "later in 2010," Yens reiterates -- more concisely, across four songs and fewer than nine minutes -- some of the dense guitar swirl, reverberant pining sentiments and arresting melodies that made the band's debut so captivating. According to lead songwriter Russell Karloff, "although we have a fair number of new studio recordings sitting unfinished and/or in progress, Yens was our answer to getting something out sooner rather than later."

She Sir has stated that Go Guitars will be "as diverse as it is coherent," and we expect the coherence is more readily apparent across the full length than simply the four tracks here. Yens places less emphasis on dense sheets of guitar, which we admittedly miss, but the point of the EP seems to be to play up the new directions of which the band speaks at its web site. And so the typically magnificent opener "Ginger" offers shoegaze swirl familiar from Who Can't Say Yes, while "Lemongrass" -- which we've posted below -- exhibits a broadened palette centered around organ, bowed strings and bright ethereal vocals. The short closer "Boystown" is even more stylistically distant from the material on the first release, as it touts foregrounded Animal Collective-ish layered vocals underpinned faintly by percussion, organ and guitar.

Mr. Karloff tells Clicky Clicky that She Sir plans a return to the studio in February ("and beyond") to continue crafting Go Guitars. It is interesting to note that She Sir was previously billed as the duo of Karloff and M. Grusha, but the credits for Yens note the four tracks were written entirely by Karloff, with only certain "editing and supplementation" executed by Mr. Grusha and a fellow named Jeremy Cantrell. Yens will be available in digital format tomorrow; a 7" vinyl version will be issued Feb. 15 in a limited edition of 300.

She Sir -- "Lemongrass" -- Yens EP
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[buy She Sir music from the band right here]

Previous She Sir Coverage:
Today's Hotness: Projekt A-ko, Pants Yell!, Shout Out Louds, She Sir
Today's Hotness: Johnny Foreigner, She Sir, Armalite
Today's Hotness: She Sir, Deadbeat, The Radishes
Best Of 2006 Addendum: She, Sir's Who Can't Say Yes

January 13, 2010

Agenda: Varsity Drag "Night Owls" Release Show, Et Cetera

Perhaps there is a subset of rock 'n' roll fans who either like being told what to do or recognize that they benefit from such firm direction. If this sounds like you, listen up: the editorial team at Clicky Clicky has quietly conferred and has set the agenda for the coming weekend in Boston, a weekend as chock-a-block with high-grade indie rock as we have seen for some time. Our approved itinerary goes like this: you will see Joe Pernice at Lizard Lounge Thursday at 8PM _sharp_ (this is an early show and we've read that tickets are moving); on Friday night you will go to Church and see Varsity Drag's record release show for the late '09 pop punk gem Night Owls; and on Saturday you will go see Mission of Burma. Sure, there are some alternate plans. We know certain among you would rather sever a minor appendage than miss the Wrens show at Middle East. That's fine. After some soul searching the team has agreed that at this point you can probably skip a Burma show without fearing that they will take another 18-year hiatus. Maybe.

Varsity Drag, as you may have read in these digital pages, released a sophomore set (if you don't count live albums, perhaps you do, so be it) in the UK late last year called Night Owls (is the graphic starting to make sense now?). It was even named one of 2009's best by our own Michael Piantigini [full review here]. The Cambridge, Mass.-based trio is giving the collection a proper "how do you do" for the Americans Friday night. We think as far as physical media goes, the U.K. release is it, sadly, but Varsity Drag has made Night Owls available for download via its Bandcamp page here, so you still have an opportunity to express your appreciation for a job well done. For some time the band was also offering for free download a crackerjack live radio set via Bandcamp, too, but we think the offer has expired on that. Which is all the more reason for you to grab the MP3 below from same. See you Friday, at Church.

Varsity Drag -- "Night Owls (Live)" -- Live Owls: Varsity Drag Live On WMFO
[right click and save as]
[buy all manner of Varsity Drag records here]

January 12, 2010

Rock Over Boston | Grant Hart | Middle East | 1.11.10

Grant Hart
Just yesterday, Bill Janovitz was talking on his great blog about how hard it is to write great 'simple' songs. In my comment, that this seems to be "especially true for songwriters with long careers - so many try a little too hard to avoid repeating themselves that their songs get a little complicated for their own good. Wilco might be a good example of this. How great and fun was Being There? I'm still a fan, and do like their recent records more than most, but they do require more patience and work to listen to. Which is not to say that all simple songs are good, of course; there's definitely an art to doing it just right."

Janovitz was talking about singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, but he could have just as easily been talking about Grant Hart. He's a guy that still sparks those Lennon/McCartney or Tweedy/Farrar sorts of debates for his part in Husker Du, which is silly since we can - and do! - have both (Full disclosure: I have engaged in these sort of debates from time to time). Hart's albums and visits are so infrequent that this reminder of how much he can do with just a few chords and some great melodies was long overdue.

Last night's generous nearly 90 minute set had them in spades. Hart was here in support of his excellent recent album Hot Wax, which has these sort of simple chord progressions and vocal hooks that he can still put a new spin on. These were well represented last night with "Barbara," "California Zehpyr," and the cabaret swing of "I Knew All About You Since Then." There were the hits too - or many of them, at least: Hart covered a lot of ground with Huskers faves "Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill," "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely," and a breezy "Books About UFOs," along with Nova Mob tracks "Last Days of Pompeii" and "Werner Von Braun," and earlier solo nuggets like "2541," "Evergreen Memorial Drive," and "Run Run Run to the Centre Pompidou." And, oh yeah: "Teen Angel." And "Wild Thing." There was no "Green Eyes" but you can't have everything, I suppose.

And that guitar... Man, did Hart's Gibson hollow body sound gnarly, brutal, glorious, and, well, kind of awesome through the Vox he was borrowing from opener Mike Gent. I could - and did - have my face melted by that sound all night.

-Michael Piantigini

Grant Hart: Intertubes | MySpace
Mike Gent: MySpace

January 11, 2010

YouTube Rodeo: Sir Yes Sir's "Not Excited"

We discovered the above video at London-based blog F*ckingDance an hour ago, and we can't stop listening to the track. "Not Excited" has a wall of guitars and a buried vocal and tons of attack and melody and harmonic noise and swirl and punch and flat-out awesomeness. We only turned on to Sir Yes Sir -- a trio containing Joseph Logan, Daniel Cowley and Sam Turner -- via Another Form of Relief last week. And while we liked the track AFOR posted ("Have I Hell," get it here), we are bonkers for "Not Excited." According to its MySpazzzz Sir Yes Sir will play with Johnny Foreigner in Manchester, England Feb. 2. That's a hot bill. Curiously, the Not Excited EP will apparently be released on *cassette tape* March 1 by the un-Google-able Hope Club Records. We're hoping the EP also makes its way into digital storefronts, preferably ones serving North America. We're selfish like that. With the rock.

Today's Hotness: CNC, Van Gumby, Portastatic

[PHOTO CREDIT: Zuzia Skoczek] >> As our 2003 trashing of the debut by poptrash audioporn puppets T.A.T.U. suggests, we are interested in learning about music scenes in non-English-speaking countries. So we were eager to listen to Polish shoegaze duo CNC when we received a pitch from their organization late last year announcing the November release of the new EP No Mood. The band casts itself as "shoegaze psych-pop" (its MySpace blurb charmingly promises "same f*cking riff again"), and we suppose that is a pretty apt description, although we hear elements of straight guitar pop in "Magenta Ants" and even Darla Records-styled ambient trip-hop (Junior Varsity KM, Sweet Trip) in the icy gleam of the droning title track. About CNC we know little. The act is comprised of Borys Dejnarowicz (also a principal behind CNC's label Draw Records) and Piotr Maciejewski, and we're told its music isn't typical of what is going on in Polish popular music (since they are a shoegaze band, this does not surprise us, after all, where is shoegaze typical?). Typical or not, we think there are more than enough sparkling moments to warrant recommending to your attention No Mood. CNC has permitted us to offer a teaser, so we are posting below the title track.

CNC -- "No Mood" -- No Mood
[right click and save as]
[buy No Mood from one of these various outlets 1, 2, 3, 4]

>> On the day that we read of Gumby creator Art Clokey's death, we received our second email missive from Florida-based indie pop quartet Van Gumby. Odd coincidence. We had been mildly intrigued by Van Gumby's prior release "Mostly Chimp," but had doubts as to whether the home-spun-sounding production effectively presented the combo's music. Van Gumby's new EP She Has Arrived is a sonic step forward, and the four songs clearly benefit from clearer production. The title track, written in London in 2008, is a mid-tempo strummer appointed with a surf guitar lead that will fit nicely into your picnic playlist once warmer weather arrives (it is 21 degrees fahrenheit in Cambridge, Mass., as we type this). The second track "Astrogirl" is an acoustic ballad with tons of phaser on the vocal. The phaser is a little distracting, but the Oberst-y vocal, synth and melodica make up for it. The highlight of the four tunes is "Seasons Go" (co-written by band fronter Spencer Tricker and Shomik Chakrabarti) which recreates the chiming electric guitar lead over acoustic strumming that underpinned the title track, but with more insistent pacing and a weary vibe that reminds us of some of our favorite Okay Paddy tracks (Van Gumby cites Teenage Fanclub, Stone Roses and Blur as influences on this latest collection). You can stream the entire She Has Arrived EP at the Van Gumby Bandcamp page right here, at which page you may also purchase tracks for a price of your choosing. Van Gumby has graciously allowed us to offer "Seasons Go," so have a listen.

Van Gumby -- "Seasons Go" -- She Has Arrived EP
[right click and save as]
[download/purchase Van Gumby releases here]

>> While we expect you have seen this file all over the Interzizzles by now, we couldn't ignore the fact that Portastatic has released a free download of its cover of Destroyer's amazing "Foam Hands." The original was one of our top songs of 2008. Merge Records is selling the track as part of Portastatic's Make It Sound In Tune digital-only covers EP, the proceeds of which will go to benefit certain charities selected by subscribers to the SCORE! subscription service.

Portastatic -- "Foam Hands" -- Make It Sound In Tune EP
[right click and save as]
[purchase various Portastatic musics right here]

January 6, 2010

Reader Rewards: Win The Entire Audio Antihero Catalog (Including Nosferatu D2's We're Gonna Walk Around This City...)

[UPDATED] Remember 2009? Good times, right? We remember it fondly. In particular, Monday night we remembered that we had promised to give away a copy of the mighty Nosferatu D2's sole release We're Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise. And then it sort of slipped our minds. Well, the giveaway did, but the record certainly did not. After singing its praises here, we named it one of the 10 best records of 2009 right here. The very good news is that -- in addition to a copy of We're Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise to bestow upon one lucky reader -- we also have a copy of the other 2009 release from Audio Antihero, the label that liberated Nosferatu D2's opus from darkening memory. That would be Londoner Benjamin Shaw's curious, watercolored dreamer I Got The Pox, The Pox Is What I Got. This set has not nearly received the attention it deserves, either in the UK or the US.

So how are you going to get your hands on these potent slabs of indie music? The answer is simple. Be the first to send an email to us (address is linked in the sidebar at right) with the phrase "Commercial Suicide For Me, Too, Please" in the subject line. This giveaway is for US residents only, as those of you in the UK should just head over here and give Audio Antihero some pecuniary love -- we assure you the music is worth the expense. We'll update this item as soon as we have a winner, and the discs will be shipped first class on Thursday directly to the winner. No muss, no fuss. [CONGRATULATIONS to reader Matthew! The contest is over.]

What else can we tell you? Let's see... Did you know that Nosferatu D2's final, crushing, beautiful and desperate performance -- supporting Los Campesinos! in March 2007 -- was bootlegged and is freely available on the Internerds? Hit this link and download the whole kaboodle. Unsurprisingly, our favorite track from the collection is "A Footnote," which we're posting below as an added inducement.

Nosferatu D2 -- "A Footnote (Live)" -- Live at The Spitz, March 2007
[right click and save as]
[buy Nosferatu D2 music from Audio Antihero right here]