August 31, 2011

Be Prepared: Los Campesinos! | Hello Sadness | 14 Nov.

Los Campesinos! -- Hello Sadness
Cardiff-based indie rock behemoths Los Campesinos! disclosed today that it will issue its fourth long-playing record Hello Sadness Nov. 14. As we've heard none of the new music, let's quote the septet's announcement: "Hello Sadness is ten songs of love, loss and heartbreak nail-gunned to a back-drop of broken, tangled bodies, creeping, dead-eyed animals, suffocating, looming shadows and World Cup exits. It is an honest, bare bones documentation of breaking up and trying not to break up in the process."

The full track list is posted at the band's web dojo right here; fans will recognize the song titles as the same as those floated out on the social networks recently by fronter Gareth Campesinos! The collection is available in vinyl and CD pre-order bundles, with special pricing for members of Los Campesinos!' Heat Rash subscription service that was commissioned earlier this year. Bundles include a digital download of the record; an exclusive DVD of footage from the recording of Hello Sadness earlier this year in Girona, Spain; a t-shirt; and a bonus CD of demos for the band's first full-length Hold On Now, Youngster. The disc is simply titled The Demos, and the music thereon was apparently only recently "unearthed," and includes an apparently rare tune "How I Taught Myself To Scream" the never-before-released "No Tetris." Hello Sadness is out in North America on Arts & Crafts, and in the UK on Wichita. Frankly, the cost of shipping from Arts & Craft's Gallery AC digital storefront ($18?, rendering the $40 LP pre-order a staggering $58) is likely similar or even more than what a North American will pay ordering from the UK, so it probably doesn't matter from which continent you order. Los Camp's previous album Romance Is Boring was our favorite record of 2010.

August 28, 2011

YouTube Rodeo: Little Gold's "Mike Swan"

Little Gold knows how you feel. You smoked a little grass, got in a bike accident, some dudes dressed as birds with a van kidnapped you, forced you to party way too much and watch "Howard The Duck" and go to a carnival and eat fried human. Like, they get it, right? Reading your mind, right? But the Brooklyn-based trio fronted by erstwhile Meneguar guitarist Christian DeRoeck has gone a step further: they made a ridiculous video for their awesome song, which is from their terrific sophomore set Weird Freedom, which was released on Little Gold's own Loud Baby Sounds label last week. The 10-song collection is available in a limited edition of 500 sky blue LPs, or as a CD or digital download. Stream the whole thing via the Bandcamp embed below It's the right thing to do. Weird Freedom will be released in Europe at some point (maybe now! or.... now!) by the Berlin-based label Adagio 830.

August 27, 2011

YouTube Rodeo: Fashoda Crisis' "Animals"

Rock and roll music: You like it. We like it. Essex, UK-based noise rock trio Fashoda Crisis plays it. You will watch their video --populated as it is with various perversions of your dreams as a seven-year-old in stop motion with much yelling -- and for the first two-thirds of it you will wonder what the hell is going on. We took this as a sign that Fashoda Crisis are on to something (or at least on something). "Animals" is a single from the band's forthcoming sophomore set Him Make They Learn Read, which will be released in September. The song presents an ominous prelude before blasting into some head-down, hard rock boogie that rests somewhere on an imaginary axis between Fugazi and Fu Manchu. Based on our social networks, many of you are drinking heavily right now and waiting for the hurricane or tornadoes to tear your roof off. Let Fashoda Crisis ease you into it. The band formed in 2005 and its first record was called Mischief Of One Kind And Another (a title which we are very familiar with from reading the source to our daughter almost daily), and it was self-released by the band in January 2009. We don't have a hard date for the release of Him Make They Learn Read, but rest assured it is coming. Stream or download "Animals" via the embed below.

Today's Hotness: Roberts & Lord, Under Electric Light, Color Radio

Roberts & Lord
>> '80s-styled hooks and boundless whimsicality makes Roberts & Lord's forthcoming sugary longplayer Eponymous curiously arresting. The MySpace-spawned (really) duo of Californian Rafter Roberts and Londoner Simon Lord operates within a shifting grid of styles as varied as the bastardized Go Team!-goes-dancehall stomper "Windmill" or the exceptionally odd head-bobber "Mosquito." The gritty backing tracks were recorded to a four-track machine by Mr. Roberts in San Diego, and then sent through Intertubes to Mr. Lord, who added vocals and arranged things. While formally mediated by this swappy-swappy, the resulting music has a very spontaneous feel to it. There's a little silliness, too, but the bump-and-bounce of the rhythm tracks and the pronounced melodies elevate everything beyond a place where that matters. Asthmatic Kitty releases Roberts & Lord's Eponymous Sept. 6, in time to rock a million undergrad dorm rooms, as it should. You don't have to take our word for it: check out the bangin' "Windmill" below. It doesn't look like pre-orders for the record are live yet, but we'll bet you dollars to donuts that as soon as it is available, you will be able to purchase Eponymous right here. Asthmatic Kitty has issued a handful of other records by Roberts under the nom de guerre Rafter; check out all the releases right here.

Roberts & Lord, "windmill" by asthmatickitty

>> Montreal-based shoegaze pop outfit Under Electric Light's tune "Waiting For The Rain To Fall" is not only very appropriate for writing about on the night before a hurricane, but it is also the sort of dense, distorted, swirling and melodic rocker that we can spin endlessly. Under Electric Light principal Danny Provencher (whose band should not be confused with the also-quite-good UK act Under Alien Skies, whose Paste EP from January is a winner) reports the concise, three-minute composition is the product of his love for The Beach Boys and classic shoegaze music. It's certainly not hard to hear the latter; we typically associate the former with sculpted vocal harmonies, but the overt euphoniousness certainly nods toward the work of Mr. Wilson. "Waiting For The Rain To Fall" is the title track to Under Electric Light's self-released full-length debut (available in Japan on Fastcut Records), and you can download the tune for free at Bandcamp; check it out at the embed below. The full-length was preceded by a series of EPs released between 2002 and 2007, also available at Bandcamp.

>> Chicago-based dream pop concern Color Radio have a well-composed little calling card in the form of its yearning and reverbed song "Quiet House." The tune touts crystalline guitar leads, strident drumming, a nice melodic cushion of ambient synths and an earnest lyric, all building to a stormy final chorus that suddenly dips behind a curtain of chiming synth that fades into the next tune, "Smile At A Funeral." "Quiet House" features on the quartet's measured but promising debut Architects which is available to stream at Soundcloud at this link. Architects was issued on Color Radio's own label Mapless Records June 14. Color Radio toured the record for two weeks in June, including a stop at PA's Lounge in Somerville, MA. An earlier digital single and EP, "Be Safe, Beware" and Newest News respectively, are available at Color Radio's Bandcamp page right here.

Quiet House by colorradio

August 26, 2011

Rock Over Boston: Joe Pernice | Lizard Lounge | 8.25.2011

[Photos by Michael Piantigini]

It's been a little over a year since the Pernice Brothers released their latest album Goodbye, Killer (my review here), but now's as good a time as any for a second leg of "touring" for it (the short run continues tonight with a show in Virginia and winds up in New York on Saturday> these shows have sadly been cancelled on account of Hurricane Irene). It actually seemed more like a stretching of the legs for Pernice, who explained that he was working to finish the next Pernice Brothers album, which he says will be called Spread The Feeling. The release date is not yet set, but one imagines that it won't be 'til the new year, since the big news of the night was the near-reunion of Pernice's revered 90's outfit Scud Mountain Boys. This, apparently, a preview of full-on reunion shows by the band targeted for this December in Boston and New York, as alluded to from the stage and confirmed by Pernice's management's Twitter feed.

Big news and great fun, indeed! Pernice warmed up the crowd with a few great Pernice Brothers tracks, including the title track from the last album, and long time favorite "Bum Leg," (technically a Big Tobacco song) which is as perfect a piece of songwriting as there is. All prelude to the night's centerpiece, as Scuds bassist Stephen Desaulniers and drummer Tom Shea (here playing mandolin) joined him on stage. Lead guitarist Bruce Tull was the only one missing, more than ably filled-in for by Pernice Brother Bob (Tull is on board for the reunion, according to Pernice). For a group of guys that reportedly hasn't seen or talked to each other in over a dozen years, they sounded fantastic. They started off with a stunning run through of "Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves" that had miles more heft than the Cher version, and continued with tracks from each of their albums: "Freight of Fire," "Silo," Olivia Newton John's 1975 hit "Please Mr. Please;" all from the 1995 Pine Box and Dance The Night Away albums collected on the Sub Pop The Early Year CD; along with "Holy Ghost" and the sublime (yeah, I said it) "Scratch Ticket" from their seminal 1996 breakthrough, Massachusetts.

There were reports leading up to the show anticipating the reunion, but I certainly didn't expect such a long, great set from them. Can't wait for December.

You'd think this would be plenty of show, but no - Pernice went on to play a wide ranging set of his solo material for about another hour. He seemed to be riding the high of the reunion along with the rest of us. The late show (there were two this night) ran two hours, and was worth every moment.

This was my first time hearing opener John Brodeur, and his solo presentation comes off as a kind of quirky folk. A familiar form, but with plenty of his own bent to make it ear-catching. A listen to his new Tiger Top Ten album this morning reveals there's a lot more going on here. Some folky stuff, sure, but there's lots of pop (chamber pop and otherwise) and indie strumming in there too, at times sounding like a more singer-songwritery Pavement even. Give him a listen.

-Michael Piantigini

Joe Pernice: Intertubes | Facebook | Twitter
John Brodeur: Intertubes | Facebook | Twitter

August 23, 2011

Footage: White Laces' Insidious "Hands In Mexico"

Rising, Richmond-based noise rockers White Laces carved out some time from a very busy summer of touring and recording to shoot the video above for its recent digital single, and the video is a stunner. No surprise, considering the dudes who shot it were largely the same dudes who put together erstwhile scenemates (now stationed in Portland) Lubec's terrific "Cherry Adair" clip we raved about here in January. Anyway, early last month we dubbed "Hands In Mexico" "...the catchiest song White Laces has recorded to date; the song is particularly gripping when the repeated ascending guitar arpeggio gets munched up by a crazy bending finale." The video capitalizes on the song's eery undercurrent, twisting a sun-splashed afternoon into a grim finale worthy of Classical mythology. "Hands In Mexico" is available for free download at Bandcamp right here. The tune will also feature on the Richmond quartet's forthcoming split 10" with Snowy Owls to be released later this fall on Harding Street Assembly Labs. And fronter Landis Wine says White Laces will begin working on the band's first full-length record next month. So dudes are busy making the rock, as they did at Muthership in Boston in July. Stay tuned for fresh jams.

August 21, 2011

Today's Hotness: Crooked Fingers, LightGuides, Peg Simone

Crooked Fingers is a good band.
>> The opening number from Crooked Fingers' hotly anticipated seventh full-length Breaks In The Armor showed up on Soundcloud a few days back, which has made us all the more excited to have the record in our hot little hands. The opening verses of "Typhoon" crest and ebb while working a Southwestern motif; midway through the song things get increasingly dynamic, with some controlled, dense guitar crescendos and the introduction of a female vocal harmony. And while the distorted guitar continues through the rest of the song, it is spangled with what sounds like punchy arpeggiation on a vinyl-stringed acoustic guitar. And then suddenly there's a keyboard denoument. In a word, "Typhoon" is terrific -- check it out at the embed below. Merge releases Breaks In The Armor Oct. 11; one can pre-order the collection right here. Haven't seen the affecting album trailer yet? Have a look. Crooked Fingers, of course, is the primary vehicle of sometimes solo artist and former fronter of Archers of Loaf (and one-time member of Small 23, etc., etc., etc.) Eric Bachmann. A reunited Archers Of Loaf has been laying waste to theaters and nightclubs across North America for several months, and if you haven't been voraciously digesting YouTube videos of same, well, you clearly have a more active social life than we do. The quartet has four live dates in September, including a two-night stand at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco (ATTN: MATT GRAVES). Full dates here.

Crooked Fingers - Typhoon by MergeRecords

>> Scottish emo superlatives LightGuides crafts soaring guitar anthems, and we like soaring guitar anthems, so this is great, right? The trio -- anchored by the brothers Cowan on vocals/guitar and drums respectivly and abetted by second guitarist Martin Murray -- are days away from releasing the mini-album Samba Samba Samba, which features seven hook-filled rockers filled with amped-up sentiments and guitar work that alternates between slithering and smashing, between accented and flat-out huge. We're particularly partial to the bombastic thumper "Starboard Superhero," which opens with a chunky riff under a chirping lead, wastes little time getting to an undeniable and shouty chorus, and then stumbles into a wonderfully choppy bridge. It's ace; check the Soundcloud embed below. Samba Samba Samba will be released by the incredibly reliable Alcopop! Records Aug. 29 in the UK, on the typical CD and digital releases as well as a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt bundle, because that is how Alcopop! rolls. Pre-order that jawnsawn right here. LightGuides are in the midst of a 12-date UK tour with labelmates Jumping Ships supporting, and have apparently already recorded some or all of a follow-up EP (no word on when we'll be hearing that). Rock.

Starboard Superhero by alcopop

>> The appearance of Oktoberfest-styled or pumpkinized beer is a sure sign that the short, dark and spooky days are coming, and to complement those beers and days it's nice to have some seasonal music. Our top-of-mind recommendations for autumn listening typically begin with The Replacements' All Shook Down, although these days we may just as soon reach for Greg Lyon's wonderul 2010 solo outing Nowhere Near Poughkeepsie. But New York City-based music lifer Peg Simone, who we're told has been playing in bands for 25 years, has a smartly understated strummer with impressionist vocals that we think marvelously suits the fall. "Wait For Night" is one of a planned series of songs Ms. Simone is releasing in the lead-up to her sixth, as-yet-untitled record, which is slated to grace new release bins in 2012. The tune reminds us a bit of Barbara Manning's more free-styled compositions, like "Aramoana." Simone's most recent collection Secrets Of The Storm was issued by Radium/Table Of The Elements last year.

Peg Simone - Wait For Night by PlanetaryOnlinePR

August 19, 2011

Today's Hotness: Saint Solitude, Weekend, Oupa

Saint Solitude
>> Sometimes records hit you at inopportune times, and so it was that early this year when we were toiling away on Ice Planet Hoth for the Day Job we found ourselves suddenly addicted to Saint Solitude's 2010 set Journal Of Retreat. The set soundtracked about a thousand frozen February mornings that started with a cup of coffee as the sun came up through a window by a desk on the 24th floor of an office suite in the midwest that faced the Mississippi River. We couldn't believe then that we'd missed songwriter Dup Crosson's wonderful collection of sunshiney indie pop strummery, especially since we had already written about Saint Solitude in 2009 here, and we resolved to keep an eye out for New Things from the band. Well, our vigilance has finally been rewarded, as we received word earlier this week that Saint Solitude's next long-player By Some Great Storm will be issued Sept. 27, and it apparently has been influenced in part by Mr. Crosson's love for Smashing Pumpkins. That sounds like a recipe for success to us. Folks on the band's email list were treated to an outtake from the By Some Great Storm sessions called "Deliverance," and we're thinking that if this great track (Bandcamp embed below) didn't make the cut, then the new, 12-song record is going to be full of what we critics refer to as "hot shit." By Some Great Storm was recorded at Landslide Studio in Asheville, NC and it will be released by Alive And Well Records. Mr. Crosson, who once plied his craft as a solo artist, has put together a new band to realize his compositions in the flesh, and the quartet will tour around the East Coast this fall. Watch this space for details.

>> Contemporary noise-pop heroes Weekend are following up their acclaimed 2010 effort Sports with a new short-player called Red. The trio's five-song set is the product of three weeks in the studio prior to a tour of Europe last month; a new full-length is slated for release in 2012. San Francisco-based Weekend, which formed fewer than two years ago, plans a tour next month to support Red. In the meantime, stream the new barn-burner "Hazel" below; the song welds melody to noise in completely gratifying fashion, as we think you'll agree. In case you missed it, the song "End Times" from Sports was released as a single in May of this year, and you can stream the radio edit of the track right here.

Weekend - Hazel by Slumberland Records

>> A brief follow-up to our mention of Oupa earlier in the week. The act's debut Forget is now streaming en todo at Bandcamp right here. And there is yet another video to gaze upon, this one for the piano ballad "Windows," which is stark and beautiful, despite not being a cover of the Garden Party classic of the same name. Garden Party you say? Let's post that to SoundCloud and have a listen, why the hell not? Oh, right... Forget was released earlier this week in the U.S., UK and France on the Fat Possum, Boiled Egg and Atelier Ciseaux labels, respectively.

Garden Party's "Windows" by clicky clicky music blog

August 17, 2011

Review: The War On Drugs | Slave Ambient

Philadelphia-based The War On Drugs' towering second full-length, Slave Ambient, is an agreeably loose (but emotionally prodigious) consortium of oasis and mirage. The so-called psych-Americana act's more formalized compositions are oasis, mappable destinations; soundscapes (like the roaring greyscale inferno "Original Slave") that form the firmament between are the mirage, beautiful, impossible to reach out and touch. All of it sits together as a series of supraliminal dreams you can't quite remember, just images that will spring to mind with surprising sharpness but questionable clarity. Which is to say that Slave Ambient doesn't communicate as a sequence of discrete riffs and lyrics, but as a holistic collage of awesome.

This fuzzy presence is more pronounced on Slave Ambient than on on its terrific predecessor Wagonwheel Blues, as Drugs songwriter and fronter (and Dover, Mass. native) Adam Granduciel said in a recent interview that in writing and recording Slave Ambient he didn't really re-work lyrics, and in some instances recorded them in just a few takes long on improvisation. Adding to the slippery now that is this new collection is that a reel of music -- the eponymous slave ambient tracks -- was left to run in the background of the songs as they were mixed. Aurally there is a tension between the dense (and in places strong -- "Brothers" is loud, the rhythm tracks boom) wall of sound, and the fact that Slave Ambient's fever-dreamed construction can be quite delicate, a house of playing cards. Importantly, the record is best played very loud, as increased volume illuminates innumerable soft layers, renders the transparent diaphanous, and the diaphanous opaque, everything shifting in the 10-song set's deftly realized and fluid mix. Indeed, Granduciel said in still another recent interview that Slave Ambient was realized as much in the mix as it was in the writing and recording.

Droning but buoyed by mechanistic rhythm tracks that mirror Mr. Granduciel's regimented but drawling streams of Beat-echoing free verse, "Your Love Is Calling My Name" serves as an able proxy for the 2011 sound of the Drugs. The aural motifs (tremeloed guitar, spectral "Walk Of Life" synth, apparitions of feedback in the final thrilling moments) pile up, not in a pejorative way, but in the same way that elements in certain David Lynch films iterate: the more they are presented, the less certain things become, the more pronounced the aesthetics and sheer beauty. Still, the music's ebb and flow produces recognizable touchstones. "Brothers" has something of Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back" in either the lyrical weft or warp, perhaps it is Granduciel's declaration "looking out the window of my room / I'm looking out where something once ran wild." "Come To The City" at times approximates U2's "Bad," right down to Granduciel's "woo hoo" mid-way through the song (as an aside, it makes one wonder whether Granduciel was a Philadelphian as far back as 1985, and also suggests The Edge's signature guitar playing as a significant precursor to The War On Drugs' repetitive layering). The preview track that's been out in the wilds of the Internet for some time, "Baby Missiles," is just classic Drugs: cold mecha-shuffle, streaming vocals stamped with slap-back, Dire Straits-styled synth. The affecting "Blackwater" beautifully closes the album: the acoustic guitars are laid bare, the leads shimmer. The song's biggest victory may be making the waltz time almost inapparent, but it is the line "Remember me when you dissolve in the rain" that sticks with you.

Secretly Canadian released Slave Ambient Tuesday; the entire record can be streamed at SoundCloud right here. The War On Drugs' full-length debut Wagonwheel Blues was one of Clicky Clicky's top albums of 2008.

The War On Drugs: Internerds | Facebook | Twittah | YouTube

August 16, 2011

Today's Hotness: Yr Friends, Oupa, Faculties

Yr Friends
>> Right, then, where were we...?

>> In the wake of his first solo performance last month under the moniker Yr Friends (shortened from Yr Dead Friends for some reason, as this site evidences, oh, also this), Johnny Foreigner fronter Alexei Berrow has digitally released an EP of Yr Friends material titled Yr Friends Are Lying To You. The EP contains three Berrow originals with characteristically verbose titles, and in true Berrow/JoFo fashion Yr Friends Are Lying To You comes packaged with lyrics, album art and art for the individual tracks as well. A fourth song is a relatively jaunty Irving Berlin composition that sits well with the other material. Uncompressed, airy and spare, Yr Friends' music is lo-fi in the same vein as, say, two of the great Alex Kemp's best, The Godrays' heart-spindling "Carkeys, Ponytail And Gum" or the similarly affecting Small Factory b-side "Movies." Or maybe the breakdown of the Lilys rarity "Excelsior Plainsides." The EP is available for purchase via the Bandcamp widgetini below. The timing may be a little off, as this quiet music may be more suited to the shortening days ahead (although we suppose stale-beer summer dawns will also suit it). But when you're ready to mope your way through your fall semester, this will be the perfect thing for you. And we're hopeful that when Berrow comes up for air after the inevitably lengthy machinations surrounding the release and support of Johnny Foreigner's eagerly anticipated third full-length (which may come packaged as/with a comic book?), that we'll hear more from Yr Friends.

>> Appearing in the lo-fi bin just today is the long-awaited full-length from Oupa, a side project of Yuck fronter Daniel Blumberg that we first wrote about here in April. The new, seven-song collection -- available digitally or on cassette only -- is called Forget and it was recorded by Mr. Blumberg in his apartment this past January. Forget was released today by Fat Possum (also U.S. home to Yuck) in the States and yesterday on Blumberg's own newly commissioned label Boiled Egg in the UK; Forget is also available in France via Atelier Ciseaux, Veeee. A video for the mid-album selection "Physical" was posted to Vimeo last week, and you can watch the thing right here. As for Yuck, the London-based band is already preparing a return United States to continue riding the wave of popularity spawned by its terrific self-titled release that we've mentioned often. The quartet's first domestic date of the fall is at our very own T.T. The Bear's in Cambridge, MA Sept. 22 [TICKETS]; complete tour dates are posted to the band's web yert right here.

>> The self-titled EP from the decidedly -fi and future-present Brooklyn-based electronic duo Faculties was released a few weeks back. You've already heard and loved the teaser track "Weekend Warrior," but the EP has a lot more to offer. We've been grooving as of late on the spooky minimal glitch of "The Paranoid Style," which reminds us a touch of Lali Puna, albeit with big widescreen vocals. While it is more mid-tempo than "Weekend Warrior," the tune is a standout track. Stream the entire jawn via the Soundcloud embed below.

FACULTIES EP by statikluft

August 12, 2011


Tommy Fucking Stinson
You say "former 'Mats bassist and current Guns sideman." We say all that plus "pop genius." See Tommy Stinson at Church in Boston, supported by Figgs guy Mike Gent, Sunday the 28th. Seriously, this is as close to Mr. Stinson, former bassist for legends The Replacements, as you are ever going to get without binoculars -- don't blow this. TICKETS. Full tour dates at Tommy's web dojo. Have you heard the shimmering new strummer "One Man Mutiny" yet? Get the MP3 in exchange for your email address below.

New Music Night DJ Sets | River Gods | 11/12 August

River Gods New Music Night with Brad Almanac
Here are the songs we played whilst manning the figurative decks last night in the booth at the fabulous River Gods in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Avail yourself of all the relevant linkage; if you have any questions or want to know more, hit us on Twitter or drop a comment.

Set Two/10PM/Jay
1. Data.Select.Party -- "She's An Eyeful On The Alley" -- We Grew Up On A Diet Of Jurassic Park And Sensible Soccer (And All We Have Left Is This Lousy Record Label) Alcopop! 50 Comp
[blogged / buy]
2. goFASTER>> -- "Good Times" -- We Grew Up On A Diet Of Jurassic Park And Sensible Soccer (And All We Have Left Is This Lousy Record Label) Alcopop! 50 Comp
[blogged / buy]
3. Freeze The Atlantic -- "Waking Up" -- Colour By Numbers EP
4. Titus Andronicus -- "Breed" -- SPIN Presents Newermind: A Tribute
[Nirvana cover from recent Nevermind 20th Anniversary tribute comp / download]
5. Satellite Stories -- "Family" -- Family single
[stream / buy]
6. Dananananaykroyd -- "Muscle Memory" -- There Is A Way
[blogged/video / review / stream/buy]
7. Lets' Wrestle -- "In The Suburbs" -- Nursing Home
8. Algernon Cadwallader -- "Cruisin'" -- Parrot Flies
[blogged / review / buy]
9. The Wavy Originals -- "Fake Moments (Of True Love)" -- David's Town
[Fucked Up's Record Store Day release to complement David Comes To Life / info]
10. Fanzine -- "Low" -- Zine 1 EP
[as championed by Yuck / download PDF zine with hyperlinked MP3s]
11. Brief Candles -- "June" -- Deep Heaven Now IV Comp
12. Soccermom -- "(A) Natural History" -- You Are Not Going To Heaven
[Due Oct. 3 / blogged / stream]
13. White Laces -- "Hands In Mexico" -- Hands In Mexico 7"
[blogged /download]
14. Guillermo Sexo -- "Skyline" -- Secret Wild
[blogged / review / download]
15. The Fruit Tree Foundation -- "I Forgot The Fall" -- First Edition
16. Warm Weather -- "The Dance" -- Dances EP
[blogged / download]
17. The War On Drugs -- "Blackwater" -- Slave Ambient
[Due Aug. 16 / blogged / pre-order]
18.Stephin Merritt -- "Beach-A-Boop-Boop" -- Obscurities
[Due Aug. 23 / pre-order]
Set Four/12AM/Jay
1. Barry Marino -- "It Will Always Be There"
[Shit was made with an IPhone? / stream / download]
2. Acid House Kings -- "Are We Lovers Or Are We Friends?" -- Stockholm Belongs To Us Comp
[download the entire comp]
3. Army Navy -- "The Long Goodbye" -- The Last Place
[stream / buy]
4. Tubelord -- "4T3" -- Romance
[blogged / stream / video]
5. Arc In Round -- "II" -- II
[blogged / stream / buy]
6. Faculties -- "Weekend Warrior" -- Faculties EP
[blogged / stream / download]
7. Weekend -- "End Times (Radio Edit)" -- SLR Late Summer '11 Sampler
[stream / download]
8. Spanish Prisoners -- "Lipstick Under The Table" -- Gold Fools
[Due Fall 2011 / blogged]
9. Avi Buffalo -- "How Come" -- "How Come" b/w "Good I'm Wishing"
[download / buy]
10. Stephin Merritt -- "Take Ecstasy With Me (Susan Anyway, vocal)" -- Obscurities
[Due Aug. 23 / pre-order]
11. Eleanor Friedberger -- "I Won't Fall Apart On You Tonight" -- Last Summer
12. J Mascis -- "Circle (Edie Brickell cover)" -- Daytrotter Session
13. Point Juncture, WA -- "Chronological Order" -- Handsome Orders
[blogged / buy]
14. Gold Bears -- "Besides" -- Are You Falling In Love?
[we don't talk about it a lot, but we love this record / blogged / buy]
15. Slowdim -- "Take Your Only Heart That's Solely Free" -- Spirals EP
[stream / buy]
16. Zammuto -- "Groan Man, Don't Cry"
17. The Hush Now -- "Sitting On A Slow Clock" -- Memos
[Due Sept. 23]

August 7, 2011

Review: Algernon Cadwallader | Parrot Flies

Top 10 of 2011, easy. The explosive joy, kaleidoscopic melodies and desperate energy that are the musical hallmark of Philadelphia-based contemporary emo superheroes Algernon Cadwallader tethers the trio's magical sophomore set Parrot Flies to a familiar musical center. The evergreen nature of these core components make for reliable building blocks; while many acts cut figurative corners and compose crap with figurative straw or sticks, Algernon Cadwallader's shit is constructed with brick, built to last. That the core components of the band's sound were first forged by superlative second-wave emo standard-bearers Cap'n Jazz doesn't matter. In fact, that the band is DIY from end-to-end (from the Facebook page: "Pete makes the t-shirt designs. We print all the shirts in our warehouse. Joe records and mixes all the music in his studio. We book our own tours. Tank does his own stand up comedy. Peter, Craig, and friends put out our records.") -- while interesting -- isn't even relevant, except to mass media pubs that still find it remarkable that bands and scenes can take care of themselves. No, what is paramount is the songs, and Parrot Flies' 11 songs represent an embarrassment of aural riches.

Which is a couple hundred words too many that aim to underscore the simple point that Algernon Cadwallader's new collection is uniformly thrilling. Sure, the adenoidal screaming, continually refracting guitars and propulsive rhythms aren't surprising at this point, but that aforementioned familarity subtracts nothing from the rush and push that Algernon Cadwallader reliably conjure on every song. A listener can literally drop a needle anywhere within Parrot Flies' 30-ish minutes and hit sex, from the characteristically raw, up-tempo mid-album fireball "Glenwood Ave" to the blindingly brilliant album closer "Cruisin'." The production has its occasional subtleties -- synth buried in the right channel of blitzkrieg opener "Springing Leaks," the different bits of percussion that surface throughout "Sad" -- but none of the appointments weighs down the live feel and engaging dynamism of the performances. Parrot Flies sounds real, like it's happening right now; it will probably always sound that way.

Oxford, England-based Big Scary Monsters offically releases Parrot Flies Aug. 22 on CD and limited edition vinyl in the UK and Europe. Algernon Cadwallader self-released the collection domestically on its own Hot Green imprint, although until the threesome returns from its current four-week tour of the UK and Europe the band recommends ordering the CD from No Idea, Rorschach or Vinyl Junkie. A domestic vinyl release is planned, according to this blog post. As of late July BSM had nearly sold out of all 200 of its blue vinyl LPs, although some number of the 300 black vinyl discs remain available -- at least as of about a week ago. Algernon Cadwallader's terrific, breathless debut full-length Some Kind Of Cadwallader was released in 2008

Algernon Cadwallader - Parrot Flies by punktastic

Algernon Cadwallader: Internets | Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube

The Return of New Music Night with Brad Almanac + Jay Clicky Clicky | River Gods | 11 August

New Music Night with Brad Almanac + Jay Clicky Clicky | River Gods | 11 August
Yes. New Music Night returns this Thursday, Aug. 11, at River Gods in Cambridge, Mass. Your DJs are Brad of Bradley's Almanac and Jay of Clicky Clicky. Come gargle at the flesh wounds, come flog busty beer, it all happens from 9PM-1AM Thursday. It's not just the place to be, it's the place to listen. Also, beer. For a sense of what you're getting into, check out our playlist from the June event. Sold? Thinking about it? Here's the Facebook event page.

River Gods
125 River Street
Cambridge, MA

Accessible via Red Line at Central Square.

August 6, 2011

And Then Some Days We Get Awesome Mail 11

And Then Some Days We Get Awesome Mail -- Alcopop 50 and Jacket, Archers Of Loaf Icky Mettle reissue
The items above were waiting on our desk when we got back from vacation Friday (yeah, that's how we roll). What you're looking at is Alcopop! Records' excellent comp We Grew Up On A Diet Of Jurassic Park And Sensible Soccer (And All We Have Left Is This Lousy Record Label), which comp was the venerable label's 50th release and was sold in a number of different bundles, such as one that included the radical Alcopop! jacket, also pictured, because, again, that is how we roll. Also above: images of the wonderful reissue of Archers Of Loaf's seminal debut full-length Icky Mettle, which came on BLUE VINYL, FOOL in a marvelous gatefold package with a poster, sticker, and download code for a bunch of digital extras including a remastered version of the greatest EP of all time, Archers Of Loaf's Archers Of Loaf vs. The Greatest Of All Time. Money well spent. We buy records. And we listen to them. And sometimes we play them for you. Like, for example, this coming Thursday, when we co-host New Music Night with Brad Almanac at the fabulous River Gods drinkery in Cambridge, Mass. We can assure you that we are going to play at least two tracks from the Alcopop! compilation. You'll want to hear that, so come out. More info at the Facebook event pagina.

August 4, 2011

That Was The Show That Was: Frank Black | The Beachcomber, Wellfleet, MA | 28 July

Frank Black, Wellfleet Beachcomber, July 28, 2011
[We are pleased to mark the return to these digital pages of the writing of longtime friend and former editor Ric Dube. Mr. Dube these days hosts the terrific More Lost Time rare indie rock podcast. Subscribe right here -- we continue to heartily endorse his product and/or service. Photo by Ric Dube. -- Ed.]

The Beachcomber billed the man as Black Francis, so it seemed like a lot of people showed upexpecting to hear Pixies songs, of which few were played. But within moments of the erstwhile Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV's taking the stage, guitar slung behind his back, it was clear that this was a Frank Black show. Tom Waits' "The Black Rider" was more preached than sung, an insane carnival barker's pitch delivered on the edge of a erupting volcano. And while a celebrity of his caliber can usually expect to have the crowd on his side anyway, it would have been difficult for any audience to have not been immediately attracted to the confidence of his evangelism. "The Black Rider" turned into a version of Larry Norman's "Six-Sixty-Six," completing a de facto cover medley for the damned, before Black took a breath to greet the crowd.

The crowd at the Beachcomber on a night like this one is a weird marginalized bunch because you have to understand the Beachcomber. More than 50 years old, the club sits at the end of a narrow road at the bottom of a hill, yet still on top of a cliff overlooking Cahoon Hollow Beach, one of the few beaches in New England with surfable waves. A big chunk of the place is open-air patio-style, they don't require shirts or shoes and are thus the only nightclub you're likely ever to hang out where the sand on the floor wasn't dumped there in an effort to manufacture atmosphere.

For the most part, the police leave the Beachcomber and Cahoon Hollow alone, so it's a 24-hour party there. During the day, it's a parking nightmare as locals and tourist families jockey for space on the beach and meals at the Beachcomber. In the evening, the Beachcomber is the nightspot of choice, but never feels crowded because there's practically no border between it and the beach. Late at night, the area becomes its own lovably freakish community.

This means that at a Frank Black show there's an odd mix of more casual Pixies fans, bigger fans who appreciated every movement their hero made, casual tourists in the room more to check out a legendary nightclub, and stoned locals just making their regular scene. I'm part of a tourist family, but part of the Beachcomber faithful, indoctrinated in the '80s, and lucky to schedule vacation in Wellfleet the week this show is booked.

Black performed with Eric Drew Feldman, the former Captain Beefheart and Pere Ubu bassist and keyboard player who produced Black’s 1994 Teenager of the Year, played on 2000's Frank Black and the Catholics' Dog In The Sand and has worked closely with PJ Harvey, Polyphonic Spree and others. The set included a handful of tunes from Teenager ("Two Reelers," "Sir Rockaby," "I Want to Live on an Abstract Plain") alongside Dog In The Sand numbers ("Robert Onion," "Bullet," "The Swimmer").

It has seemed weird for a lot of years that Black's best-known solo material has remained the two cuts on his 1993 debut solo release that got a fair amount of MTV video airplay despite that stuff being fairly mediocre compared to both the quality and amount of his output since then. It's just another indication of the power of MTV during that time. "Los Angeles" and "I Heard Ramona Sing" got some of the biggest responses of the set, though to be fair, it was hard not to appreciate versions of those tunes stripped of almost anything but the barest parts. What made that first solo record a little disappointing was not so much the songs as how overweight the damn songs were -– in every possible way.

Those there for Pixies numbers got the aforementioned few; in addition to "Where Is My Mind?" and "Nimrod’s Son," Black's own "Ten Percenter" turned into a noodling rendition of "Planet of Sound." Amid applause, Black mused, "Sometimes that sends a few people out the door, and sometimes that brings a few people in."

Twenty or so numbers flew by, as is always the case the crowd called for more, and Black declined with a smile on his face –- making it clear he was not playing coy by unplugging and bagging his guitar on the spot. "We have to drive to Hyannis tonight and it's late as it is," he explained.

In fairness to the fans, Hyannis is just not all that long a drive from Wellfleet. Thought it was late, for some. The flipside of the police mostly leaving the Beachcomber and Cahoon Hollow to exist in its microcosm is ever vigilant patrolling for drunk driving and disorderly behavior of every nearby road. With the show over, it was still too soon to drive home. I wandered down the trail toward the beach in darkness so thick I couldn't see my feet, though near the bottom I could see a few bonfires. Above, every star in the sky was clearly visible. "Who are you?" said a girl in the blackness behind me.

"Hi," I answered, my arms across my chest, looking up at the night sky. "Did you see the show?"

"Yeah," she answered. "He was beautiful. But I didn’t know any of those songs. Hey, we’ve got
some weed -- but I don’t want to interrupt your peeing." -- Ric Dube

Frank Black: Internets | Facebook | YouTube

August 3, 2011

Rock Over Boston: Big Audio Dynamite | House of Blues | 8.2.2011

Not to get all fanboy on you, but there was a point in tonight's Big Audio Dynamite US all-original-lineup reunion tour kickoff where I transitioned from "oh, shit - that's Mick Jones from The Clash!" to "hey, that's Mick Jones from Big Audio Dynamite!" (Though, sadly, at no point did anyone say "oh shit - that's Mick Jones from Carbon/Silicon!").

And, yeah, that means something. I mean, yes, of course - there's no denying that this is an exercise in nostalgia. But that we can so successfully celebrate Mick Jones' band after The Clash is really saying something. I mean, what if Paul McCartney convened a Wings reunion tour that ignored that he was in The Beatles? OK, I would effing love that, actually, so bad example. Maybe you still get my point?

Obviously, this was mainly about the hits (especially those from 1985's debut This Is Big Audio Dynamite) though with a few deeper cuts for good measure. There was one new song called "Rob Peter To Pay Paul" that Mick Jones explained was about our current financial predicament, and it seemed to be classic Mick Jones. It skewed more rock than the proto sample pop surrounding it and was more engaging than anything we've heard from him in some time.

There's not much to explain beyond that, really. Jones introduced encore "E=MC2"saying "this is what we've all been waiting for," and indeed we were. The crowd - mostly enthusiastic already - exploded, and the remaining encores of "The Bottom Line" and "Rush" had everyone dancing and thinking only of B.A.D.

As for opener HR/Human Rights... Well. Much respect to his legacy with Bad Brains, but his opening set didn't really go anywhere. It seemed fairly well-received, though, so this is just one man's opinion.

On the subject of encores: Sure, they're mostly phony these days. Usually just a cynical exercise where the act pretends to be done and we pretend to beg for them to come back. Plus, anyone following along on the internet can find out the rough setlist and know what's coming up. The trend now seems to be that a band finishes its main set and leaves the stage and most of the audience just stands around (tweeting, perhaps?) and waits for them to come back, with just diehards cheering for it. This actually has me reversing my opinion on the subject. You want the band to come back? Clap and cheer a bit. Maybe we've come full circle on this thing.

-Michael Piantigini

Big Audio Dynamite: MySpace (seriously?) | Facebook | YouTube
HR Human Rights: Facebook | MySpace