January 28, 2012

New Music Night DJ Sets | River Gods | 26/27 January

New Music Night IV, River Gods, Cambridge, Jan. 26, 2012
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. We'll create a Spotify playlist of all the songs we played last night shortly and post a link right here [Edit: HERE IT IS]. Also, please click over to Bradley's Almanac and check out Brad's playlists for the 9PM and 11PM hours, they will move you, and tons of free music to boot.

Set Two/Jay -- 10PM

1. David Newton & Thee Almighty Angels -- "Paint The Town" -- Paint The Town EP
[listen / buy]
2. Lubec -- "You're A Good Idea" -- Rip Tide 7"
[listen / buy]
3. School of Seven Bells -- "The Night" -- Ghostory
[download / pre-order]
4. Night Fruit -- "Dark Horse" -- Dark Horse EP
[blogged / listen / buy]
5. The Big Sleep -- "Ace" -- Nature Experiments
[listen / pre-order]
6. The Blue Dress -- "My Deth Ray" -- These Happy Golden Years EP
[blogged / listen / buy]
7. Satellite Stories -- "Blame The Fireworks" -- Blame The Fireworks single
[blogged / listen / buy]
8. Amity Beach -- "You'll Never Hear That Sound" -- Amity Beach single
[blogged / listen / buy]
9. Earthquake Party! -- "Pretty Little Hand" -- Vs. Pizza cassette
[blogged / download for free / buy Vs. Pizza]
10. Ringo Deathstarr -- "Sailin' On" -- Bad Brains cover, for Esme
[listen / donate to help Esme Barrera's family; Ms. Barrera was murdered Jan. 1]
11. Ovlov -- "The City" -- What's So Great About The City? EP
[listen / name-your-price]
12. Chandeliers -- "Age Sex Location (rough mix)" -- digital single
[blogged / download for free]
13. BDRM Eyes -- "Soggy" -- What Are You Wrong With EP
[listen / buy]
14. White Laces -- "Dissolve Into Color" -- Split 7" with Arches
[blogged / listen / buy]
15. Work Drugs -- "Rolling In The Deep (Adele cover)" -- digital single
[listen / download]
16. The xx -- "Open Eyes (Demo)"
[listen / download link seems to be dead but maybe it'll come back? like Shane?]
Set 4/Jay -- 12AM

1. Occurrence -- "You, Me And Everyone We Know Will Die" -- The Apocalypse Is Postponed
[listen / buy]
2. Johnny Foreigner -- "If I'm The Most Famous (Robot) Boy You've Fucked, Then Honey Yr In (Robot) Trouble" -- You vs. Everything EP
[blogged / listen / buy]

January 25, 2012

Young Adults, BDRM Eyes, Chandeliers and The Living City | The Box Fort, Allston Rock City | Jan. 28

Young Adults, BDRM Eyes, Chandeliers, The Living City
While you weren't looking, this coming Saturday night has become totally bonkers, as Clicky Clicky faves are playing out all over the map. There's Night Fruit at the Cambridge YWCA, Guillermo Sexo at the Middle East, and Grass Is Green at O'Brien's Pub as part of Berfest, just to name a few. Hot shows all, but we don't think you'll get more bang for your tango anywhere else other than at the stellar show arranged by the lads in rising noise-pop concern Chandeliers. The trio will perform Saturday night at the Box Fort house in Allston as part of a cataclysmic bill featuring ambient punk heroes Young Adults, rising starrgazers BDRM Eyes and potent emo newcomers The Living City. The show is said to be kicking off early, as early as 8PM, so an enterprising show-goer could potentially make the house party scene on the early and still have time to head to one of those aforementioned venues to see action from those aforementioned acts. We'll be doing a little preview of the big, big show tomorrow night at River Gods, where we plan to include new songs from Chandeliers, BDRM Eyes and The Living City in our DJ sets as part of New Music Night (we as yet don't have any new material to showcase from Young Adults). The Facebook Event page for New Music Night has all the details, check it out.

Chandeliers has just released to the wilds of the Interzizzles a two-song sampler of new jams, "Age Sex Location" and "First Base (At The Model)," which you can stream via the Bandcamp embed below. The first track is an uptempo, dark and stormy rocker that will be familiar to fans. "First Base (At The Model)" is another bracing tune, this one sounds like a nightmare version of Buffalo Tom's "Mountains Of Your Head." Which, of course, means you need to hear it right now. Check the streams below.

January 23, 2012

New Music Night IV: The Dream Master with Brad Almanac + Jay Clicky Clicky | River Gods | 26 Jan.

New Music Night with Brad Almanac + Jay Clicky Clicky | River Gods | 11 August
Music nerds, Nightmare On Elm Street fans and beer drinkers rejoice! New Music Night returns for the freshly minted year this very Thursday, Jan. 26, at River Gods in Cambridge, Mass. Your DJs are Brad of Bradley's Almanac and Jay of Clicky Clicky. Come nosh all the sweet brooms, from frog rusty sneer, 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 Brad's playlist from the October event, or our Spotify playlists from the same night (link 1, link 2). Sold? Thinking about it? Here's the Facebook event page. Four more years! Four more years!

River Gods
125 River Street
Cambridge, MA

Accessible via Red Line at Central Square.

Rock Over Boston: Mission of Burma | 1.20-1.21.2012

[Mission of Burma (and Shepherdess) at the Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA 1/20 and 1/21/2012. Photos by Michael Piantigini.]

Mission of Burma are a national goddamn treasure. When I'm President, I'm going to come up with some medal to give them like the one they gave McCartney where they have to do a Command Performance at the White House.

Ten years, thirteen days, and three albums or so into their reunion, Burma have been back at it for more than twice as long as their original run and, judging by recent interviews are still doing it for all the right reasons. It's true that they were just unpopular enough to make any long-term cash-in a largely fruitless endeavor - I suppose that's what the Pixies are for - but they've always been the kind of band that keeps doin' it 'cause they're feelin' it. Hell, Burma sets where they don't play ANY of their oldies are not terribly uncommon, and people don't even get mad about it or nuthin'. They continue to come up with songs that stand up well to their iron-clad legacy.

Neither of these two sold out Brighton Music Hall shows were one of those shows, though most of their main sets were given over to brand new material filled-in with some of the better stuff from their modern era - I was as happy to hear "The Setup," "The Enthusiast," "Spider's Web," "Man In Decline," "1,2,3 Partyy!," and "Good Cheer" as anything else. That said, when, near the end of each night's set, Clint Conley mumbled the intro to "That's When I Escaped My Certain Fate," the club - and the band - exploded. It was classics from there on out and we were reminded yet again of the band's flexibility and musicianship - for every ponderous "Trem Two" or "Einstein's Day," there's a pure punk blast like "Ballad of Johnny Burma" or the Dils' "Class War." And, sure, let's throw in that obscure Alice Cooper cover ("Reflected" from 1969's Pretties For You) while we're at it.

Everyone was in top form - Roger Miller slashed at his guitar, moving effortlessly between power chords and mind-bending leads, Clint Conley cut a lanky figure, his muscular basslines driving the bus, and Peter Prescott practices understated devastation on drums. Next time you see them, grab a spot with a good view of him - it's amazing to see, and his feral yells show him to be the heart of the operation. Let's not forget Bob Weston's loops here either. If the complexity of the songs wasn't enough, Weston adds another layer of texture that helps set Burma above the rest.

There's still no announced label for the album their finishing up. Will someone please open up their checkbook and get this thing done?

- Michael Piantigini

Mission of Burma: Intertubes

January 16, 2012

Today's Hotness: Arctic Splash, Black Swan Runners

>> A world in which Joey Sweeney doesn't have an active band just feels weird. Or at least it feels weird in a different way from a world in which Mr. Sweeney does have an active band. We came up listening to his songs, going to the shows of his various bands (Barnabys, The Joey Sweeney Rock Band, and so forth), and then when he got himself growed up sometime during the last decade it seemed like he had finally put music down after shelving the quasi-eponymous The Trouble With Sweeney. So we were pleased to get a tip a couple months back that Sweeney has quietly bowed another project, Arctic Splash. The Philadelphia-based quintet made its live debut just last summer, and has apparently been at work for quite some time on a debut release, which at least last fall was contemplated as a three-song 12"/download jawn. What's the stuff sound like? It's hard to say: this live clip from the band's first show captures a band at its loosest; the demo "Denim Tuxedo" (someone alert Jon Wurster...) is spare and soulful; and the acoustic demo "Baptised In Vibe" embedded atop this piece is yet more spare, but more reminiscent of Sweeney's later stuff. Long-time readers with superlative memories will recall our occasional rants about Sweeney's unheralded rock period (1994-1996, or thereabouts), and obviously we'd like to see a return to the sweaty, glasses-pushing-up-the-nose Sweeney. Arctic Splash probably won't be that, but we're still quite excited to hear the debut release. Let's get it released, Team Splash, eh?

Denim Tuxedo (Demo) by arcticsplash

>> We're also jazzed for the debut release from Black Swan Runners, a new band from former Retriever and CoCo B's guy Kevin Castillo. We've been a fan of Castillo's music since college, which if you don't know was a long time ago. And we were a bit surprised that CoCo B's didn't have more of a break-out moment with its dazzling rocker "Give Up The Money/1982," from its very solid 2007 self-titled set. Be that as it may, there is new music coming from this new entity Black Swan Runners. Although how different is the new band? The personnel listed at the BSW Facebook page is the same as the personnel in the CoCo B's bio? No matter, we don't really care, so long as the rock is good. And based on some teaser video clips, we think we've got reason to be excited when the band's debut release comes out next month. The as-yet-untitled collection is in the can, after having been mixed by Alex Newport (who we talked about at some length here) and mastered by the seemingly ubiquitous Jeff Lipton. All we know right now is that one jam might be titled "Carolina In A White Coat," and whatever the title is, the tune is awesome. There's a bit more of a synth-and-electronic-beats thing going on in this clip, but the song seems no less affecting. We haven't discerned an official release date yet, but we'll keep you apprised.

January 15, 2012

Rock Over Boston: Scud Mountain Boys | 1.14.2012

[Scud Mountain Boys at Brighton Music Hall, January 14, 2012. Photo by Michael Piantigini.]

Joe Pernice: Internets | Management's Twitter

Reissued early Scud Mountain Boys albums available here.

January 14, 2012

Today's Hotness: Earthquake Party!, Amity Beach, Caspian

Earthquake Party
>> We've been way behind. But we're clawing our way back, and one thing that has jazzed us to no end over the last two months is the debut release from Boston's deservedly hyped Earthquake Party! (exclamation point theirs, we suppose a hat tip to post-rock collective Godspeed? No?). We first mentioned the band in a sidelong manner way back in late 2010, when it appeared on the bill for local noise punkers Young Adults' record release party. Well, Earthquake Party! almost a year to the day later issued its own debut, a three-song cassette/digital download of fizzing fuzz-pop, reminiscent of an even peppier version of British upstarts Fanzine (how awesome would THAT double-bill be?). The wholly terrific "Pretty Little Hand" proclaims in its chorus "all I want is a pretty little hand filled with pills and candy," and who doesn't want that? The tune is backed with "Nails & Hammers" and "Brains," and all three tunes were recorded last summer at local facility Esthudio, which you may recall is where Young Adults committed Black Hole to tape. Or maybe you don't recall that. While Young Adults favors power slightly over pop, Earthquake Party! noise pop evidences alliegiances to certain classic sounds. "Brains," for example, bumps and sways like a Motown girl group number (or, we suppose, more accurately like Jesus & Mary Chain-rendered fascimile of same). But the lead-off track will be enough to get you hooked, so go get 'em. No word on what to expect next from the band, but we're hoping to get more acquainted with Earthquake Party! in the '012.

>> Another act whose music has been hanging around rocking us is Amity Beach. The Grand Bend, Ontario-based quintet's self-titled EP on Eternal Bummer delivers copious pop thrills on its recent single, wherein it festoons its own brand of quirk with sounds that fans of Tokyo Police Club will find pleasing. All three songs are strong (and apparently they have been repackaged with some compilation tracks into a weightier, six-song EP), but if we had to pick a winner from the surprisingly young act we'd finger "You'll Never Hear That Sound." The tune's first and final minute features a dizzying arrangement of synth and chime that sounds like a heavenly barrage of typewriter clatter, and bright horn arrangements adorn all three tracks. We're definitely queuing up "You'll Never Hear That Sound" during one of our sets at New Music Night later this month. Stream all three tracks via the embed below.

>> Last we saw the mighty Caspian, more than five years ago, they were in an early slot at Great Scott looking and sounding a little out of place. They may as well have had green skin, antennae and bubble helmets, but we expect they deal with that a lot: when you are post-rock knights wielding paranormal slow jams, you're just different from other people. The band's latest release completely does the band's epic stylings justice, as it captures the band performing live on Oct. 22, 2010, in a massive National Historic Landmark, a Northern Italian Gothic church erected in Boston in 1875. Oh, the glorious tumult, oh the passion to be heard in Live at Old South Church. Opener "Last Rites" explodes in its seventh minute, not somber as the title suggests the song might be, but instead intensely passionate, as if it were the soundtrack to Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa. Five songs in an otherworldly 35 minutes, the collection is pressed to a limited edition of 1000 vinyl circles, including 200 white vinyl copies available in finer record stores right now (the official release date was Jan. 10). If you can't wait to feel the crashing waves and ethereal calm amplified by the relatively vast space of the edifice, the entire collection is streamable via the Soundcloud embed below.

Caspian - Live at Old South Church by The Mylene Sheath

January 10, 2012

The Ash Gray Proclamation and Clicky Clicky Music present Hallelujah The Hills, Ted Billings, Richard Davies and The Blue Dress | PA's Lounge | 14 Jan.

The Ash Gray Proclamation and Clicky Clicky Music present...
We are exceedingly pleased to be presenting this Saturday alongside our friends at The Ash Gray Proclamation a sterling evening of rock and roll music. The bill, as the title of this post makes clear, features local heroes Hallelujah The Hills, Ted Billings of Age Rings, Richard Davies and The Blue Dress. The show is at PA's Lounge, and we are (briefly) coming out of our just-had-a-baby-show-going-hiatus to make the scene because, you know, we love rock and roll music.

Hallelujah The Hills, of course, needs no introduction, but if you gotta start somewhere like Jon Brion, we'd direct you to the recent, wonderful digital-only b-side "Some Of Them We Lost," which is embedded above and was introduced to us by Team AGP. The song, as we have quipped elsewhere, "at 3:11 ... all of sudden comes on like the vertigo of five too many shots of liquor, and you get up off the couch and realize you can't stand at all." The more recent work of Mr. Billings in Age Rings is well-known to readers of this blog; that band's Black Honey was among our favorite records of 2011, and Age Rings promised a follow-up entitled Magnum Love will appear sometime this year. Here's hoping that we get a little preview Saturday.

We're not going to lie: Richard Davies is totally new to us. But his inclusion on the bill definitely tells us that his music is something we'll want to hear. Word is that some of The Blue Dress guys will be backing Mr. Davies up for his set, which may or may not be akin to juggling swordfish or drinking moonshine from a sneaker, we don't know, but the proposition of the unknown is exciting. As for The Blue Dress (whose appearance here is apparently the band's first club show), we first became aware of the band last summer when the words "dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio..." kept wafting out of our IPod in an unusual context. The line, of course, is lifted from Joy Division's epic "Transmission," a song covered by many but perhaps most notably by Low. The Blue Dress tucked it into their demo "House Of The Demon," and that little hook -- mournfully delivered, but with a different vibe than Low's -- got us very interested in the band. The band's dazzling recent EP These Happy Golden Years is something we wish hadn't slept on in late 2011, because it has that perfect -- dare we say Kiwi-esque -- balance of melody and noise (and trumpet! which is sorta both!) that keeps us coming back for more. Check out "My Deth Ray" below:

The Blue Dress - "These Happy Golden Years" - My Deth Ray by The Blue Dress

It's going to be a great night, and we do sincerely hope you will come out and say "hi," it's been a long time since we've been among the indie rockers. See you then.

January 8, 2012

Today's Hotness: White Laces, Satellite Stories, Allo Darlin'

White Laces -- Dissolve Into Color
>> Noise pop continues to thrive in Richmond, and scene stand-outs White Laces seem poised for a break-out 2012. The quartet has an ambitious slate of releases in the offing, the first of which is a cracking split single with sometimes-tourmates Arches, who operate out of our beloved Philadelphia. Richmond-based label Worthless Junk is taking orders now for "Dissolve Into Color" b/w "Late Last Night" right here. While the official release date is Jan. 24 (a certain blogger's birthday...), you can hear White Laces' A-side via the Soundcloud embed below and watch a video for the Arches jam right here. The single was pressed in a limited edition of 300 grey and blue flat vinyl circles, and all pre-orders will be packaged with a bonus split cassette with demos and outtakes from the two acts. "Dissolve Into Color" opens with shuddering, bending guitar chords characteristic of the White Laces sound, but what comes next points to the band's songwriting becoming more refined and focused. The arrangement is spare, the attitude tough, fronter Landis Wine's singing more confrontational, the surf guitars can't walk a straight line for the cops and the odd time signatures enhance the rush and push of more prominent drumming. White Laces' second release for the year (a full-length is also in the works) will be the long-awaited split 10" with scenemates Snowy Owls (have you heard this awesome jam?) on Harding Street; the 10" is slated to hit racks in February and you can pre-order and access streams at this Bandcamp page. We caught a brief, sweaty White Laces set in Boston last summer when the act came through town with Arches; here are some photos.

Dissolve Into Color by White Laces

>> At this point does anyone even want Bloc Party back? Their role as examplary purveyors of spiky guitar pop has been ably filled many times over by young and hungry acts since the quartet left the sound behind and went on hiatus. One successful aspirant to the silently alarmed throne is Finland's Satellite Stories. The Oulu-based, criminally unsigned foursome show their mettle with the recent digital single "Blame The Fireworks," a jittery guitar pop anthem carrying a forlorn vocal, two great tastes that taste great together. Listen as a bridge bursts into flames under a blistering guitar lead and ensuing mayhem and then And Then AND THEN... back to placid bridge yet again. And the vocal kicker is just too perfect, dropping a phrase to underscore a rendezvous gone awry, a relationship on the rocks. "I know these streets and I thought I knew you, but I got lost..." Satellite Stories plans to release an EP of new material in 2012, and they are definitely ones to watch. We previously wrote about the band here back in November 2010. Stream the new song below.

Satellite Stories - Blame the Fireworks by satellitestories

>> The new Allo Darlin' single takes a minute to wind itself up, a minute during which, let's face it, this sounds like an Indigo Girls song. But, by the time we get a drum build and a chorus, "Capricornia" takes off, higher and higher over its full four-and-a-half minutes of REM jangle and simple harmonies gilding Duritz-esque cascades of words. The whole thing accelerates to a surprisingly noisy, but delicious, conclusion of guitar scribbles and feedback. It's a great breezy pop song that is very comfortable staying within a small conceptual box neatly labeled "breezy pop song' on its firmly placed lid. But if you don't think about the box and just sing along you'll probably find "Capricornia" is an appropriate antidote for grey winter days. The song is the first single from the band's full-length debut Europe; the single is due March 6 and the full-length April 17. Catch the stream below. Allo Darlin' just announced a healthy slate of US tour dates in April and May, although the band has omitted Boston from its current plans, causing many of us to have an indie rock sad. Still, that's months away, and we expect Allo Darlin' will eventually see their way to Boston. And if not, there's always New Haven May 18.

Allo Darlin' - Capricornia by Slumberland Records

January 2, 2012

Today's Hotness: Mike Quinn, Arc In Round, Young Adults

Mike Quinn's My Old School
>> Mike Quinn was smoking with the boys upstairs when he heard about the whole affair. And then he recorded a warped version of Steely Dan's "My Old School," which seems like a nice way to kick off 2012 here at Ye Olde Blogge. Mr. Quinn's version shuffles slowly, drunkenly, a bit like the title track to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, slack-key guitar briefly trading spaces with Richardsian licks. It's highly enjoyable. We last heard from Quinn in July, when he issued the charming solo set Magico, which we wrote about right here. Earlier in the current century Quinn captained erstwhile Scranton, PA-based indie rock champions Okay Paddy. That band's 2006 set The Cactus Has A Point [review here] was one of our favorite records of 2006. Around the time Okay Paddy hung up its gloves for the last time, Quinn moved on to the more trad-leaning folk/vaudeville/bluegrass concern ...And The Moneynotes, which put out a couple nifty, sometimes wacky, releases including New Cornucopia!, which we reviewed here in late 2008. Will 2012 bring yet more Steely Dan covers? We shall see.

My Old School [Steely Dan] by Magico

>> Delaware Water Gap, PA-based label La Société Expéditionnaire has signed Philadelphia-based progressive pop quartet Arc In Round; the label (which last year put out the excellent self-titled set by SOARS) expects to issue the band's eponymously titled debut full-length this year. Those anxiously rifling through their records right now are likely grasping for this piece of information: while Arc In Round will technically be the foursome's full-length debut, its precursor entity Relay did in fact issue a long-player of its own, Still Point Of Turning, on Bubble Core in early 2006. Arc In Round self-released two EPs in 2011, Diagonal Fields and II. The new record features guest turns from Kurt Vile and Pattern Is Movement's Chris Ward and will be packaged with oodles of remixes concocted by the likes of A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Ape School, Benoit Pioulard and Lymbyc Systym. That is the dictionary definition of not too shabby, and we eagerly await this one. While you wait, why not chew on this video of Arc In Round covering Can's "Oh Yeah." Yeah?

>> Boston-based ambient punk dynamos Young Adults are promising a new EP sometime in 2012, according to this tweet. The short set would be the trio's first new material since its break-out full-length Black Hole, which was issued in late 2010 on Prague-based Amdiscs (buy! buy! buy!). In the interim the band has changed bass players and played some of the most electrifying live sets to hit Boston stages. Young Adults' next move is hotly anticipated, and, if history can be any guide, the contemplated EP will be a scorchah, dood. Catch the band this Saturday at Gay Gardens with Bambara, Ovlov and Guilty Party. Facebook Event page here. For now, burn your face off one more time with this one, "Wasting Time."