April 9, 2011

Today's Hotness: Oupa, Mercury Rev, Walter Schreifels

Oupa -- Forget
>> Do you remember all the confusion about Yuck and Yu(c)k, how the latter was a side project of the former? Probably not, these are the things that trouble only the most ridiculously fanatic among us. Our position on this was why bother confusing us, just pick one name and we'll accept the fact that you make guitar music and quieter music. Well, our unspoken and un-offered advice has gone unheeded, but the good news is that things are now somewhat less confusing. Yu(c)k is now Oupa. We know, you are relieved. But this is important; in case you were not aware Oupa is the solo vehicle of Yuck fronter Daniel Blumberg, and we love Yuck. Oupa plans to issue in July (via an as-yet unannounced label) a full-length set titled Forget, and although the collection will likely contain some songs with which we are familiar, it's the new stuff that we are most excited to hear. Here's an embed of the presumed titled track to Oupa's debut, which is pretty enough, but not as gripping as "Automatic" or as devastating as "Weakend." One final tangential thought -- doesn't the art above for Forget remind you of this?

Forget by Oupa

>> Let's just say at the top that we like old Mercury Rev better; Boces in particular. But even so, we think it is notable that the band's breakthrough record Deserter's Songs is being reissued May 15 by Co-op Music. The record, originally released in 1998 and Mercury Rev's fourth, so potently evokes specific good times. Nothing sexy, nothing exciting, just this: the first time we heard the record we had just flown into Charlotte, North Carolina, where our best friend picked up me and the missus and drove us in his Jeep on small roads out to a lake house in Morganton. The windows were open on the Jeep, the night was warm, and we cranked Deserter's Songs, and it was just perfect. The lead track, "Holes," in particular just haunts you. Co-op's reissue packages the collection with a second disc containing demos, outtakes and b-sides. To remind folks of how great this record is, the band is giving away the tune "Opus 40." Have a listen, maybe that first night it's warm enough for you to leave the windows open. European fans can catch the band when it unleashes a strand of live performances in mid-May; the full itinerary is at Mercury Rev's web dojo right here.

Mercury Rev -- "Opus 40" -- Deserter's Songs [reissue]
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[watch your favorite digital storefront for pre-order information]

>> We really did not know this until H-Dawg From Accounts Receivable told us: apparently there is already another Walter Schreifels solo record in the offing. According to an interview with Alter The Press from April 2010 (you read that correctly, we're reading this a year late), a new Schreifels solo set was "85% done." The same interview says that the reason it hasn't seen the light of day yet is because Mr. Schreifels was releasing the Rival Schools record (the wonderful set Pedals, issued last month) in the interim and wanted to take time to properly promote that. In the same interview Schreifels states the new solo set will be titled Jesus Is My Favorite Beatle, but it is hard to tell whether he was joking or not. Considering how roundly excellent Rival Schools' Pedals is, we expect it will be promoted through the summer, but who knows? Either way, we are excited for the new solo collection, and we'll keep you apprised. Schreifels' debut solo collection An Open Letter To The Scene was our second-favorite record of 2010 [review here].

>> While we weren't the most rabid or vocal fan, we are sorry to see neo-emo luminaries Joie De Vivre call it a day. The band's song "Summer In New London," which opened their 2010 collection The North End, was one of our Top 10 songs of 2010, although we ended up being to busy to publish our list (we did give The North End a nod in our aforementioned albums list). Sorry Joie De Vivre. There is apparently one more album in the can that will be issued post-humously. We look forward to hearing what the members of Joie De Vivre do next.

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