March 31, 2012

That Was The Show That Was: Autochrome Release Show with Young Adults, Soccer Mom and Night Fruit | TT The Bear's Place, Cambridge | 30 March

We've already mentioned here in these electronic pages the impressive, meticulous coordination of local media and radio appearances that Autochrome marshaled to promote this show, during which the Boston post-punk quartet turned in a breathtaking and commanding performance before a packed crowd at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge last night. But we think one tiny detail from last night drives home the laser focus the act displayed in making the case for its brilliant debut Separation Realms. For its set last night, Autochrome arranged for footlights to illuminate the band. And to our admittedly untrained eye it appeared that the two colors used were the same two colors -- a particular hue of blue and red -- that the band used in an older band logo you can still see at Facebook here. Of course, the primary focus was the stirring delivery of the foursome's tightly coiled, skeletal rockers. Their performance of the early demo "Senses" soared, as did the renderings of the recently released promotional tracks "100 Series" and "We Are The System." But equally as inspiring were the tunes we didn't know, such as the uptempo "Secret Forms," which incited dancing among certain of the typically stiff Boston crowd, and the yearning and particularly melodic "Hands Over The City." After Autochrome capped its performance with the album closer "Zero Zero," the footlights were quickly collected, but our impression of the quartet as extremely professional and admirably precise -- but emotionally potent -- remains.

We arrived in time to see only the final three numbers of opener Night Fruit, but the rousing and dynamic rendition of its recent single "Dark Horse" that it used to close out its time on stage was remarkable. Following Autochrome were local shoegaze titans Soccer Mom and ambient punk heroes Young Adults. The former wowed the crowd with what may have been its most sonically punishing set to date, but even more notable than its gale force was the quartet's battery of new material. While the crowd thrilled to the crush groove of "Southern Bells" and the desperate, Sonic Youth-styled "(A) Natural History" from the 2011 10" You Are Not Going To Heaven, new tunes "Canoe" and "Orejae" (or at least that's how they were referred to in this set list -- note that the band didn't adhere to this list) -- were as stunning as they were loud. After some small delay relating to gear woes, top-liners Young Adults took the stage. Guitarist Chris Villon, who ended up utilizing Night Fruit's pedal board, offered the insightful remark that the fact that the four bands on the bill share so many influences made it particularly easy for him to borrow the gear he needed to make the set happen.

Then Young Adults delivered an incendiary performance that proved why it is one of the brightest stars in the constellation of Boston indie rock. From annihilating versions of "Impression" and "Wasting Time" from its 2010 debut Black Hole (which recently sold out in Japan, it's on Bandcamp here) to a spine-tingling encore that included a cover of Ride's epic "Decay," the otherwise fairly mild-mannered trio dominated the stage. Villon remarked that the band will release new music next month and embark on a short tour, and we are very eager to hear it. For their part, Autochrome, Soccer Mom and Night Fruit will each perform during the upcoming Deep Heaven Now 5 festival in early May, as well as a number of other local dates. Autochrome returns to TT The Bear's Place May 25, according to its Bandcamp page.

Listen to Separation Realms at Spotify here.
Buy Separation Realms from the band as a CD or download here.

March 27, 2012

Review: Future Carnivores | Future Carnivores

Future Carnivores accomplish here on their eponymous full-length debut an elegant feat: the Boston-based electropop act successfully surpasses homage, a mile marker that even if it can be reached often trips up bands mining the motherlode of the early MTV era. To be sure, the record sounds as if it were made in the '80s, not just from a production standpoint, and not just because of certain nods made via the songwriting, but because of Future Carnivores' ability to deftly synthesize deconstructed pop with the same sense of wonder and optimistic, well, futurism as the act's quirky and weird-haired antecedents. Through this terrific alchemy principle members Reuben Bettsak, Bo Barringer and Noell Dorsey (who work with two drummers live) conjure gold by presenting maximalist melodic concepts in diminutive, sleek packages. That winning combination makes Future Carnivores the first refreshing surprise of 2012.

The chirping guitars, vaguely British-sounding vocals, aboriginal rhythms and softened ambient space of the trance-tastic "This Won't Be Boring" perhaps exemplifies best the approach of the band, which de-emphasizes the guitar work central to Mr. Bettsak and Ms. Dorsey's better-known indie rock endeavor Guillermo Sexo in favor of atmosphere and groove. Mr. Barringer's relatively theatrical vocals (which at times recall those of Unrest's Mark Robinson) twinned with those of Ms. Dorsey elucidate yet more singular overtones in the music, which as often draws from New Order as it does Bow Wow Wow. Future Carnivores' pulsing "There Is So Much Love In My Heart," with its understated but precise rhythms, motorik bass line, repetitious vocal incantations, and droning e-bow guitars is another example of the band's beautiful marriage of New Wave and New Romantic aesthetics. "To Win You Over" is even more experimental, providing in 81 seconds a perfectly crafted pastiche of pathos and nostalgia, like one of the shadowbox arrangements generated by the sub-orbital AI in that Gibson novel. Despite the album's bracing experimentalism, the highlight of Future Carnivores is the rocker "What's Unbelievable?" While the song smacks of New Wave bombast, its traditional instrumentation makes it something of an anomaly within the set. Nevertheless, it's a delicious anomaly that listeners will return to again and again.

Future Carnivores has been around for a relatively short 18 months, but has already released "What's Unbelievable?" and "I Can Wait All Night" from this full-length as stand-alone digital singles via Bandcamp. The band self-releases Future Carnivores this week and celebrates with a record release party at the Tiger Mountain club night at Cambridge's Elk Lodge in Central Square [Facebook event page here]. Also performing are Travels, Velah and Poor Everybody. Future Carnivores will have CDs and t-shirts on-hand.

Future Carnivores: Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube

March 26, 2012

Autochrome Record Release Show With Young Adults, Soccer Mom and Night Fruit | TT The Bear's, Cambridge | 30 March

Autochrome Record Release Show With Soccer Mom, Young Adults and Night Fruit | TT The Bear's, Cambridge | 30 March
This show has been steadily approaching for months like a bullet train through the chunnel, a glaring white light relentlessly speeding at us, closer and closer and you get the picture. Act for act, song for song, this is easily the best live bill you will see in Boston this spring, and it would seem Autochrome, which celebrates the release of its full-length debut Friday night, has used the same precision in selecting the support slots that serves it so well in crafting its alluring blend of Chameleons UK's brand of '80s darkwave and modern, antiseptic production sensibilities. So not only will Autochrome officially unveil the collection Separation Realms, but also the evening will feel sets from the creme de la creme of Boston indie rock: the ambient punk heroics of Young Adults, the brutal, shuddering beauty of Soccer Mom and the fetching dream pop of Night Fruit. Any one of these acts could anchor a sweet night of music in our little town, and the fact that all four of them appear here at once suggests the evening will be completely Chiquita (sans the paying terrorists for protection from terrorists. We think).

For Autochrome this big, big show will be the product of a carefully architected wave of buzz that began with the release of the digital promo track "100 Series" a month ago and an appearance at the modern dance night The Pill. Then last week the band gave a dominating performance on WMBR's Pipeline! live music program, which you can download right here. Last night Autochrome graced the airwaves of WZBC with another live set. Clearly the groundwork has been carefully laid, and we expect the only people more excited about the show Friday than Clicky Clicky and some other local bloggahz we've spoken with are the members of Autochrome themselves. Here's the Facebook event page for the evening in question. Now come on: feel the noise.

March 23, 2012

New Music Night DJ Sets | River Gods | 22/23 March

New Music Night V, River Gods, Cambridge, March 22, 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 shortly and post a link right here. Thanks everyone for coming out, especially the inimitable Jeff Breeze of WMBR's Pipeline!, among other things, who stepped in and manned the decks with me while Mr. Searles was getting some much-needed rest.

SET 2/Jay/10PM
1. Future Carnivores -- To Win You Over... -- Future Carnivores
[due out March 31 / record release show]
2. Dead Mellotron -- "Stranger"
[blogged / stream / download]
3. Young Prisms -- "Midnight's When" -- In Between
[blogged / pre-order]
4. Mincer Ray -- "A Burning Plan" -- Ray Mincer
[blogged / stream / download]
5. High Heels -- "Tracers Emblazoned" -- On Square Waves
[blogged / stream / download]
6. Grass Is Green -- "Ruffleball" -- Ronson
[blogged / stream / buy]
7. Hop Along -- "Tibetan Pop Stars" -- Get Disowned
[stream / buy]
8. BDRM Eyes -- "Champagne Girl"
[stream / download]
9. Autochrome -- "100 Series" -- Separation Realms
[blogged / stream / download]
10. Ahuizotl -- "Slide" -- Lice EP
[blogged / stream / buy]
11. Speedy Ortiz -- "Taylor Swift" -- "Taylor Swift" b/w "Swim Fan"
[blogged / stream / buy]
12. Good Dangers -- "DFYF" -- DFYF single
[blogged / stream / buy]
13. Black Swan Runners -- "Smart Kids" -- An Aside
[blogged / stream / download]
14. The Bombhappies -- "Ants" -- Ants single
[blogged / stream / buy]
15. This Many Boyfriends -- "Starling" -- Starling single
[blogged / stream / buy]
16. Fire Island Pines -- "Rickie Lee Jones" -- Rickie Lee Jones EP
[blogged / stream / buy]
17. Internet Forever -- "Centre Of Your Universe" -- Some.Alternate.Universe Charity Comp
[blogged / buy]
18. Spanish Prisoners -- "Downtown Chicagoland (Guitar Arp)" -- Downtown Chicagoland single
[stream / download]

SET 4/Jay/12AM
1. Benjamin Shaw -- "Should Stayed In The Hotel Lounge" -- The Shuttleworth Sessions
[stream / download]
2. Zammuto -- "Zebra Butt" -- Zammuto
3. Slowdim -- "Money" -- single
[blogged / stream / download]
4. Chandeliers -- "First Base (At The Model)" -- Two-Song Sampler
[stream / download]
5. Cloud Nothings -- "Stay Useless" -- Attack On Memory
[stream / download / Cloud Nothings' Boston show occurs this Sunday at 11PM at Great Scott and the show will be streamed live at this link]
6. The Social Club -- "Somewhere Between The Rut and The Groove" -- For Dancing
[stream / download]
7. Bear Cavalry -- "Roman Summer" -- Maple Trails
[stream / buy]
8. Hospitality -- "Liberal Arts" - Hospitality
[review / buy]
9. Fanzine -- "Dream Of You"
[stream / download]
10. The Devil And A Penny -- "Steamboat" -- Steamboat
[stream / preview from debut expected this spring on New Neighbor Records]
11. The Magnetic Fields -- "All She Cares About Is Mariachi" -- Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
[stream / buy]
12. Future Carnivores -- "Throw Myself Down" -- Future Carnivores
[due out March 31 / record release show]
13. Barry Marino -- "The Impossible Planet" -- I Made These Gems In A Month.
[stream / download]

March 21, 2012

Today's Hotness: Young Prisms, Violens, Speedy Ortiz

Ypung Prisms
>> Shoegaze purists rejoice! While waiting for the next Ringo Deathstarr platter to come along and provoke the tinnitus, might we suggest checking out another group of revivalists who have done their homework: San Francisco's Young Prisms. The quintet's second full-length, In Between, is due March 27 on the venerable Kanine Records, and the album's wide-eyed take on the genre evokes memories of a certain strata of superlative, bygone American pedal pushers (Ultra Cindy, Drop Nineteens, Astrobrite). While Young Prisms breaks no new ground either compositionally or sonically here, In Between's understated boy/girl vocals, churning guitar chords, and dazed, reverberant snare drum marches will delight enthusiasts of the genre (present company included). Throughout the mostly mid-tempo set, Young Prisms cultivates some great melodies, including that of lead single "Four Hours (Away)," the vocal of which notably taps a Mazzy Star-like lilt while the instrumentation strikes a light, Motown-flavored contrapposto. The real winner of the collection, however, is "Better Days," a wonderful tribute to "Sarah Sitting" by the mighty, beloved Boston group The Swirlies that touts a shifting melody and queasy guitar lead. In the way that Interpol took the vibe of The Chameleons and sexed it up for a new generation, Young Prisms aims to inspire a rising legion of 'gazers with seldom-heard references that have always deserved more attention. Pre-order In Between from Kanine right here, and check out the marvelous live set recorded at Shea Stadium last October via the embed below -- Edward Charlton

>> In a wonderful surprise last week, Slumberland Records posted to its Soundcloud page a new track from New York-based chord merchants Violens (an act which, incidentally, has remixed Young Prisms' "Floating In Blue"). The song, "Der Microarc," is from the act's upcoming album True, slated for release May 15th. Violens isa five-year-old progressive pop band that combines elements of '80s alternative rock sounds with early electro and broad vocal harmonies. Utilizing these tools, the band concocts a rare form of psychedelia via compositional weirdness, rather than relying on effects. Beautiful, odd chords and melodic turns can leave the listener disoriented even as they are dancing along. It's a rare musical feat that speaks of a musical intelligence and playfulness that the indie world can always use more of. "Der Microarc" is a quickly paced jam that displays a clarity that was missing on Amoral, the group's crowded yet superb 2010 debut. The song follows an effective four chord strum; a kraut groove filtered through the prickly surrealism of Daydream Nation. Better yet, the band seem to be tapping into the vibes of Mahogany's smashing Connectivity! album and its internationalist cosmo-pop. The signing of Violens could signal a welcome shift in the recent Slumberland roster, which lately has seemed to focus primarily on somewhat predictable presentations of the C86/ Black Tambourine legacy, as opposed to the label's more experimental past, including ground breaking releases from bands like Hood, Lorelei, Stereolab and Whorl. This thought alone is enough to make the anticipation for True unbearable. -- Edward Charlton

>> We don't know the age of Sarah Dupuis and the rest of Western Mass.-based Speedy Ortiz, but we imagine that they wish they were born 20 years ago. Because there's little doubt that Speedy Ortiz's recent single "Taylor Swift" would be garnering scads of major market FM radio play on the fledgling alternative rock-formatted stations that were springing up back then. And on the strength of the single Speedy Ortiz would probably be aboard a commercial flight to Los Angeles right now (well, right now 1992) to record a full-length for one of those major-backed, faux indie labels we had back then. But, of course, it is not the bizarro world of the early '90s we're currently living in. That, however, does not weaken the impact of "Taylor Swift," a crunchy, feedback-spangled, grunge-pop gem with a ridiculously catchy, swaggering chorus. The single, backed with the even-heavier but still delicious and angular "Swim Fan," was recorded by Paul Q. Kolderie at Mad Oak Studios and mixed by Justin Pizzoferrato, whose name you know from his work with Dinosaur Jr. and Young Adults, among many others. And, if a post on the band's Facebook page is to be believed, apparently naming their single "Taylor Swift" is a trademark violation, so the song title may be changing. Speedy Ortiz are slated to play the Pipeline! radio show on MIT's WMBR on April 24, and the band has a short series of tour dates in the Northeastern United States in late March that are posted to its Bandcamp page right here. It appears the band is currently recording a five-track EP at the Sex Dungeon in Philadelphia titled Sports, which we are now very eager to hear. Check out "Taylor Swift" and "Swim Fan" via the embed below.

March 20, 2012

YouTube Rodeo: Good Dangers' "DFYF"

There's finally a day when we're no longer waiting for something official from London-based Good Dangers, and thankfully for us, that day is today. The quintet, concocted from many parts of the defunct guitar pop band Assembly Now, released today in the UK its first official single, "DFYF," the spectacular video for which is above. The single is out on the band's own Brasilia Records and if you are in the UK you can buy it from ITunes right here. If you are not in the UK, you can stream "DFYF" at this Soundcloud page right here. Can't wait to hear more from Good Dangers, and hopefully we won't have to wait years and years for the next thing of theirs to come along. The band plays a launch party for the single March 29 in London at the Sebright Arms, and two additional London dates are booked for April 19 and May 17. So, Americans: sell everything! Move to London! Get into it!

New Music Night 5 with DJs Brad Almanac + Jay Clicky Clicky | River Gods | 22 March

New Music Night 5 Large Hadron Collider It's A Mother-shut your mouth
New Music Night returns for its fifth and inaugural spring event this very Thursday, March 22, at River Gods in Cambridge, Mass. Your DJs are Brad of Bradley's Almanac and Jay of Clicky Clicky. Come squash ball complete blooms, scrum dog musty knees, 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 January event, or our playlists from the same night. Sold? Thinking about it? Here's the Facebook event page.

River Gods
125 River Street
Cambridge, MA

Accessible via Red Line at Central Square.

March 19, 2012

The Beatings Perform Italiano! 10th Anniversary Show With Relations, Louder My Dear | Radio | 23 March

The Beatings play ITALIANO!
This Friday Boston's post-punk institution The Beatings celebrate 10 years-ish of finely crafted rock and roll music by performing its fire-breathing, first full-length Italiano! in its entirety at Radio in Somerville. This is not to be missed. The hour-long collection -- which, if memory serves, was named for a particularly colorful manager the band retained in its early days -- was issued in February 2002 as release Midriff-001 on the band's then-fledgling Midriff Records, a label concern that is itself now a pillar of the Boston rock scene. In the months that ensued Italiano! was heralded in the local, national and even international press. Not too many years later, The Beatings were featured in the thrilling Mission of Burma documentary "Not A Photograph" and the implication was clear: The Beatings, more than any other band besides, of course, the reincarnated Burma itself, were among Boston's elite contemporary standard bearers for noise pop. The younger band's succession of gripping full-lengths from Italiano! on is testament to that.

And while a decade of history has plunged from the upper chamber of the hourglass, neither The Beatings nor its label are simply maintaining the high with the resin of nostalgia: indeed, a strong argument can be made that -- based on the releases of the last 18 months -- the golden era of The Beatings and Midriff is right now. See the band burn it down yet one more time at Radio this Friday. Facebook event page. For the remainder of the month of March Italiano! and the rest of the Midriff catalogue is 50% off at the band's web storefront right here. The band was cool enough to permit us to offer the Italiano! standout "Twins" below, so hear it again for the first time.

Selected Beatings Coverage:
That Was The Show That Was: The Beatings, Hands And Knees
Review: The Beatings | Late Season Kids
That Was The Show That Was: The Beatings | TT The Bear's
Review: The Beatings | Holding On To Hand Grenades [Junkmedia]

March 14, 2012

Review: Dinosaur Jr. Bug Live at 9:30 Club, In The Hands Of The Fans [DVD]

Dinosaur Jr. Live at the 9:30 Club In The Hands Of The Fans, Bug
At least as far as this DVD goes, you can judge the contents by the cover: herein legendary indie rock trio Dinosaur Jr. performs the third album recorded by its original line-up. The proceedings feel a little rote at times, but it's all there, and, damn, is it good. This performance of Bug was one of many the band executed in 2011, and this particular show was captured to video in late June (here's DCist's review). From a cinematographic standpoint, the concept of the DVD -- that six Dinosaur Jr. fans were selected to film the concert, presumably to give it some sort of stamp of fan approval -- results in probably many more cuts than necessary to holistically capture the excellent performance. Sure, some of the angles are nice, and the crowd shots are occasionally amusing. Still, we feel like director David Markey (the man behind the absolutely wonderful "The Year That Punk Broke" film) perhaps felt obligated to use more than just the best camerawork. Cutting to a shot of the backs of heads in the balcony just as the first chorus of "Post" kicks in? Really?

Or perhaps that is a bit of humor creeping into the process. After all, this is a film that starts with the exceeding loquacious and musically pedigreed Mike Watt feeling his way through some introductory lines he reads off a piece of paper out of frame as a used car salesman might in a low-budget commercial. Keith Morris, the first singer of legendary hardcore act Black Flag and now with the band Off!, similarly and comically gets through his lines, and Dinosaur's bassist Lou Barlow has to take a do-over. Stacking the three stilted intros at the beginning of the DVD underscores the econo/DIY vibe characteristic of the scene birthed by the above-referenced bands, among others. One other little hint of humor -- the DVD credits state it features Ian Mackaye at one point, and we learn at the close of the film that the extent of Mackaye's presence was him posing for a photo with fellow D.C. hometown hero Henry Rollins toward the beginning.

All that said, the cuts to the various angles we mention supra perhaps serves as some proxy for the overwhelming sensorial stimulus of Dinosaur Jr.'s ear-bleeding volume, which doesn't quite translate, although the sound on the DVD is crystalline and, to a certain extent, revelatory, as guitarist J Mascis is sometimes so loud the various sonic textures from his pedals are unclear. Overall, the performance is a series of rushes, big moments like when drummer Murph and Mr. Barlow (wearing only socks throughout, incidentally) locked in on a caffeinated groove during "Let It Ride."

After some perfunctory introductions of the fans in whose hands the cameras were placed, they just disappear for the most part. That is, until the end of the show, when one of the cameramen (and they are all predictably and somewhat disappointingly men) takes lead vocals on "Don't" to protect Barlow's voice from the throat-bleeding lyric "Why!? Why don't you like me!?" Incidentally, we recollect from Juliana Hatfield's recent bio that Ms. Hatfield (who once recorded a bracing cover of Dinosaur's "Raisans") was in a studio adjacent to Dinosaur when they were cutting the song, and apparently Barlow was spitting up blood after recording this vocal. While it would have been nice for Mr. Rollins or Mr. Mackaye or Mr. Morris to sing, the guy acquitted himself well. And so "Don't" is one of the surprise highlights of the night, as the lysergic power-downer begins with a gentle feel before the threesome conjures the hurt something fierce.

The DVD contains a number of extras, as is de rigueur, including the encore, "Sludgefeast" and the aforementioned "Raisans" from the Dinosaur Jr.'s epic sophomore set You're Living All Over Me, as well as two tracks the band warmed up with, "The Wagon" from Green Mind and "In A Jar" from ...All Over Me. MVD Video released "Dinosaur Jr. Bug Live at the 9:30 Club, In The Hands Of The Fans" February 21. View the trailer here. Purchase the DVD here.

Full album stream of Bug.

Dinosaur Jr.: Interzizzles | Facebook | YouTube | Twinkers

March 12, 2012

Clicky Clicky's SXSW Picks For The Procastinating Punter

Clicky Clicky's SXSW Picks For Procastinating Punters
[UPDATED Tuesday 3/13/2012 9:42PM] We take it for granted that all music fans are like us, meaning, very likely to build a personal SXSW schedule weeks before our Docs hit the dusty streets of Austin. Maybe you just don't have your shit together? Maybe you like to go with the flow. Whatever your reason, Clicky Clicky's brain trust here weighs in on our picks for the best sets to see at South By. Unsurprisingly, bands that the blog follows closely get their props here; after all, we wouldn't track them if they sucked. But there are also some new or at least newer names here as well. So if you spent all your time figuring out which tacos to eat this coming week and have left the music piece to chance (so far), read on. We think, using the power of our proven system, that below you will encounter many things guaranteed* to rock. The Clicky Clicky dude making each selection is identified in parentheses.

__M O N D A Y__
7:00PM - Sunday, 3/18 1:00AM (Rock) -- Hoeks Metal Fest presented by Texas Metal Collective (full lineup)
Hoeks Death Metal Pizza, 511 East 6th Street

__T U E S D A Y__
6:00PM (Jay) -- Big Deal
The Warby Parker Citizen's Circus @ French Legiation Museum
8th Street and Embassy Drive

11:15PM (Jay) -- Belaire
Art Disaster No. 14 presented by
Beauty Bar, 617 E. 7th Street

11:55PM (Rock)
-- Daniel Johnston & Motopony / 1:05 AM Built to Spill
BrooklynVegan Presents Daniel Johnston's 'Space Ducks' SXSW Launch Party
The Belmont, 305 W 6th Street

12:45PM (Rock)
-- Glossary
This Is American Music / Captains Dead Tuesday SXSW Kickoff Party

Hole In The Wall, 2538 Guadalupe Street

1:00AM (Rock) -- Wussy
Midwest by Southwest Presented by The All Night Party
Soho Lounge, 217 E 6th Street

__W E D N E S D A Y__
2:00PM (Edward) -- The Men
Presented by Consequence of Sound's CoSigns
Beauty Bar, 617 E 7th St.

3:45PM (Jay) -- The Henry Clay People
Buzzbands LA Presents Dear Austin, Love L.A.
Opal Divines Freehouse, 770 W. 6th Street

4:30 PM (Rock) -- Thee Oh Sees / 5:15 The
IODA SXSW OpeningDay Bash
Red Eyed Fly, 715 Red River Street

7:00PM (Edward) -- The Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Presented by Echo/Echoplex/Origami/VINYL SXSW Throwdown
Shangri-La, 1016 SE 6th St.

11:00PM (Rock) -- Screaming Females
Bar 96, 96 Rainey Street

1:00AM (Rock) -- Titus Andronicus
Bar 96, 96 Rainey Street

__T H U R S D A Y__
1:00PM (Edward) -- Dive
Presented by The Pitchfork Day Party
The Mohawk, 912 Red River

2:55PM (Edward) -- The Spinto Band
Presented by Riot Act Media
Swan Dive, 615 Red River

5:00PM (Jay) -- Hospitality
Waterloo Record In-Store, 600A North Lamar

5:00PM (Rock) -- Crooked Fingers
End Of An Ear Records, 2209 South First Street

9:00 - 10:45PM (Rock) -- Big Star Third Concert (Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Work-in-Progress) documentary screening at 7pm)
Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Avenue

1:00AM (Rock) -- Future of the Left
Swan Dive, 615 Red River Street

__F R I D A Y__
11:30AM (Jay) -- The War On Drugs
KEXP Live Broadcast, Free
Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop, 400 Nueces Street

12:00PM (Edward) -- Gauntlet Hair
Presented by Rhapsody Rocks Austin
Club Deville, 901 Red River St.

12PM-6PM (Edward) -- Purity Ring
Presented by MWTX 2012
East Side Drive-In, 1300 E 5th St.

3:00PM (Jay) -- Bitches
KXLU and the Smell What by Whatever 2012 Showcase
Domy Brooks 913 E. Cesar Chavez

5:00PM (Rock) -- Militant Babies
SX Flak Records Sessions
The Local, 2610 Guadalupe Street

5:35PM (Rock)
-- Waco Brothers with Paul Burch
Bloodshot Records Annual Yard Dog Party
Yard Dog, 1510 South Congress Avenue

6:00PM (Edward) -- Dum Dum Girls
Scion Presents: Check Yo Ponytail + UWeekly Austin
Emo's East, 2015 E Riverside Dr. Bldg #4

10:00PM (Rock) -- Grant Hart
Beale Street Tavern, 214 East 6th Street

12:30AM (Jay) -- Dinosaur Jr.
Filter Culture Collide SXSW, Free with RSVP
Bar 96, 96 Rainey Street

__S A T U R D A Y__
2:00PM (Edward) -- Cymbals Eat Guitars
Presented by The A.V. Club and Flowerbooking: The March Into Softness
Club Deville, 900 Red River

2:45PM (Jay) -- The Big Sleep
BuzzMedia PureVolume House presented by iHeart Radio PV House Party
The Pure Volume House, 2nd & Trinity St

4:00PM (Jay) -- The Wedding Present
Blurt Magazine Party/Dog Fish Head IPA Day 4
The Ginger Man, 301 Lavaca

4:30PM (Jay) -- Ringo Deathstarr
Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Does! Does! Does! Showcases!
101 San Jacinto Blvd.

10:00PM (Rock) -- Supreme Dicks / 11:00PM Death of Samantha
WFMU live broadcast
Beerland, 711 Red River Street

12:00 AM (Rock)
-- Tommy Stinson
The Whiskey Room, 503 East 6th Street

1:00 AM (Rock)
-- Carsick Cars
The 512, 408 East 6th Street

__S U N D A Y__
7:00PM - 1:00AM (Rock) -- Hoeks Metal Fest presented by Texas Metal Collective (full lineup)
Hoeks Death Metal Pizza, 511 East 6th Street

1:30PM - 2:00AM (Rock) Alejandro Escovedo & Friends (full lineup)
The Continental Club, 1315 South Congress Avenue

*not guaranteed.

March 8, 2012

Today's Hotness: Dead Mellotron, This Many Boyfriends, The Bombhappies

Dead Mellotron
Baltimore-based Dead Mellotron recently unleashed its superlative new number "Stranger" on the Internets. Fronted by Josh Frazier, who is abetted by mysterious backers CC, Aimee and Faith, the group's contemporary take on good 'ole chugging shoegaze rock accomplishes a lot with a relatively straightforward approach. The first 30 seconds of the cinematic "Stranger" -- which will feature on Dead Mellotron's forthcoming third album Glitter -- relies on a facile electronic drum pattern that clatters behind a gorgeous curtain of reverb and auto-tune effects. A simple distorted guitar emerges and applies a steady rhythm that drives things toward a pleasing ride cymbal peak. And, then, well... that's pretty much it. The beautiful thing is the song begs for nothing more. Why complicate matters when you have a few good chords, a lilting chorus, and a great atmosphere? "Stranger" is available for free download at SoundCloud and you can grab it via the embed below. Glitter will be released by Sonic Cathedral May 7th and you can pre-order the record right here; the seven-song collection is available for £12 in a limited edition of clear vinyl packaged in glitter sleeves with download code. The band previously released a self-titled long-player in 2010 and Ghost Light Constellation in 2009; both are available via Bandcamp here. Dead Mellotron plays Soft House in Baltimore this Friday night, and then again on April 1 at Ottobar opening for the very hotly tipped Cloud Nothings. -- Edward Charlton

Leeds, England-based This Many Boyfriends' new single "Starling" boasts breakneck pacing and cheese-grater guitar leads that make it one of the most bracing things we've heard recently. The scrappy guitar-pop quartet's name, a nod to indie pop legends Beat Happening, is a telling reference that telegraphs the instrumentation and exuberant playing herein. "Starling" opens with neatly serrated rhythm guitar and upbeat crooning. Effective single note leads and vibrant, jubilant group vocals toward the end will spur listeners to serially depress the play button for yet another ride. Really, there's no better way to sum up the song than the act do themselves, "it has a riff, it's about ornithology and love." Brilliant. The group -- whose members Daniel, Laura, Richard and Tom all carry the last name Boyfriend in true Ramones style -- recorded the single with recently deceased guitarist, Peter Sykes. Tragic as the band's loss is, the group apparently continues to flourish in his memory and absence. "Starling" b/w "Just Saying" was released as a fanzine single by Angular Recording Corporation February 20th. This Many Boyfriends previously released another single and an EP and is slated to support The Cribs for three dates this month. -- Edward Charlton

Also capturing our fancy of late is "Ants," a devastatingly poignant preview single from Scandinavian rockers The Bombhappies. Further investigation finds the band to be a long-running concern with a soft spot for 80's indie. Indeed, the quintet (Joel, Johan, Jonas, Linus and Andreas, again, only first names) seems intent on conjuring a vibe straight out of the good-guy sadness of the Galaxie 500 catalog, and the '80s feel is also boosted by the Michael Stipe-esque inflections of The Bombhappies' lead singer. "Ants," taken from the band's forthcoming full-length A Good Fire, revels in its forward guitar plucks, matched by acoustics and relaxed snare hits. The vocals have a subtle, slap-back echo that adds a patina of ready-made nostalgia to the song. "Ants" is a heartbreaker, too, as a doo-wop breakdown and build follows lines like, "you've made it clear, you don't want to be with me." A Good Fire was self-released by The Bombhappies today, and we can't wait to listen to the whole thing. -- Edward Charlton

March 7, 2012

The Rationales "Radio" at Radio | March 9

In their watershed 2011, Clicky Clicky Top 10ers The Rationales showed they could write heartfelt pop tunes with an eye towards Americana and good old American rock and roll. Apparently not willing to coast too far into the new year on that great self-release The Distance In Between, they're back already with their hot-off the interwebs single, "Radio," and it's killer.

A taut rocker with a catchy big-ass hook and soaring refrain, "Radio" rocks harder and more directly than anything they've done to date. Go get it below, and clear this Friday night, March 9th, for when The Rationales celebrate its release at the club that apparently inspired it (though it's not about it, exactly) - Union Square, Somerville's Radio - with a cool bill: SXSW-bound roots rockers OldJack, 1980 Manchester via 2012 Boston dreamers The Milling Gowns, and rising songwriter Abbie Barrett. The Rationales were the very first band at Radio's opening night back in October where they debuted this track. It's their first stop back at the club since then, and it looks to be their last until their appearance (actual date T/B/A) at next month's Rock and Roll Rumble.


THE RATIONALES: Intertubes | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter
OLDJACK: Intertubes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter |
THE MILLING GOWNS: Facebook | Bandcamp | MySpace | Twitter
ABBIE BARRETT: Intertubes | Facebook | Twitter

-Michael Piantigini

March 5, 2012

That Was The Show That Was: Peter Case & Paul Collins | Star Theater | Portland, OR

THat Was The Show That Was, Peter Case and Paul Collins
[PHOTO CREDIT: Amie Althaea] What began as a potentially precarious and non-commital show blossomed into a legendary, manic rock event. Saturday evening's performance at the Star Theater in Portland built slowly to a boiling point at which Peter Case and Paul Collins began to tear through the power-pop gems that spangle their respective, nearly 40-year careers. The energy, skill and conviction of their show transcended both time and male pattern baldness, proving that an intelligent, youthful spirit can persist to incite future generations to dance like it's 1964, or '74, or '84. Hell...

The show was part of a tour intended as a celebration of Mssrs. Case and Collins' work, more than a plug for any specific release. The duo are best known, of course, for founding the seminal and short-lived 70's punk-pop trio The Nerves, as well as their individual '80s projects including Case's The Plimsouls (creators of the sublime, oft-covered 1983 Top 100 hit "A Million Miles Away") and Collins' The Beat. The Nerves produced only one official release, a four-song EP that cemented itself as pop gold on the strength of "Hanging On The Telephone," which was written by bandmate Jack Lee and famously covered by Blondie. Upon completion of the fabled recording, the group executed an exhaustive cross-country tour opening for The Ramones, playing nearly 100 shows in a very short period. Such an ambitious early experience likely placed unnecessary strain on The Nerves. That, coupled with the fact that the group had the Beatles-esque dilemma of three talented songwriters, led to sufficient tension in the band to plunge it to a premature death. Lee, of course, went on to fame and perhaps even wealth via Blondie and "Hanging On The Telephone," while Case and Collins forged ahead, never receiving their real due.

Just before the main event the room seemed to suddenly fill up with a diverse punk and pop assemblage. It was as if Case and Collins sounded some fantastical horn and called forth their army of young hardcore kids, overdressed record store clerks, 70's Los Angeles hipsters, and white collars in polos who had spun the Nerves EP on their college radio show so many years ago. It was truly a scene to behold, and some really fabulous people-watching as the men took the stage with able bassist Timm Buechler and drummer Amos Pitsch, ready for a blitzkrieg. Because of earlier audience indifference, one could not expect what was about to unfold.

The set was played fast, with little word from Collins, as the group pounded through a balanced, electrifying list of songs from The Nerves, The Plimsouls, The Beat and the seldom-heard, mid-period project The Breakaways. In true power-pop tradition, E major chords and Rickenbacker chiming abounded. Case, Collins et al. wisely stuck most of their more famous numbers toward the end of the set, riding a wave of anticipation from the crowd. Within the first few songs, dancing broke out in the middle of the floor, with several very unassuming-looking women going around and grabbing any guy they could find while swinging and grinding. It was a moment of elation for which rock music inherently strives. Half-way through the set, the band kicked things into overdrive with "A Million Miles Away," spurring a chant from the crowd loud enough to be heard over the roaring guitars.

Case and Collins, both approaching 60, may have looked worn and old, but they performed with an animalistic energy that did not betray their histories. Collins smartly wore a purple bandana around his neck in a nod to his vintage cool. Case strode out wearing a blazer and long hair, looking not unlike The Dude from "The Big Lewboski." This band didn't need distortion pedals, just vintage guitars played into overdriven tube amps. Loudly. Between songs, Case proved to be the more endearing member, as he offered background and stories about the songwriting, recording and genesis of the various projects. He broke a string mid-song and never flinched in his grizzly guitar solo, using the detuning to his advantage. "When You Find Out" proved to be the highlight of the show, with his voice sounding exactly as it did in 1976; a feral young man's plea, surely an inspiration to Paul Westerberg.

The fascinating crowd provided some really enjoyable moments itself. One woman, who seemed roughly the same age as Case and Collins, heckled the band for about 15 minutes. It became apparent that she was a former paramour of Collins' from decades ago, and she repeatedly asked if he remembered her. Finally, acknowledging the nuisance, Collins looked her in the eye and simply mouthed "no." Rock and roll, indeed. Another happy sight was the father who was accompanied with his three young children. This gentleman had come for one thing. "Walking Out On Love," he repeated yelled. He soon got it.

The final portion of the set had the band rolling through some key Nerves tracks, The Breakaways classics, "Walking Out On Love" and the blistering Case-penned tune of escape, "One Way Ticket." With that, the band quickly said goodnight and walked off the stage. No needless posturing, or long closing speech, just the reassurance that keeping it real transcends all. Brilliant musicians and songwriters apparently can continue to burn down a house if they stay true to what made them great all along. If you can, catch the band at one of their tour dates here.

The Carnabetian Army, a local Kinks cover band, opened. Resplendent in their dandy outfits, the group delivered tight and faithful renditions of many of the Kinks tunes that were so influential to first wave power-poppers like The Nerves. The venue's odd lounge-style seating and open floor plan left The Carnabetian Army afloat amid emptiness that threatened to suck the energy out of their set. The fact that many Portland venues feature cool outdoor patios and fire pit havens occasionally leaves early openers with little to do but play for themselves. Nevertheless, The Carnabetian Army gave it their all, adding details like the adolescent "oh, go home!" before the charged solo in "All Day and All Of The Night."

Filling the middle of the bill were Summer Twins, a sister-led pop-rock outfit that had a very astute knowledge of the songwriting and spirit of the headliners. The Riverside, Calif.-based group, presumably hand-picked by Case and Collins, played a set of strong, shiny tunes to the slowly gathering crowd. "I Don't Care" in particular, showcased Chelsea and Justine Brown's perfectly blended harmonies. Guitarist Marcio Rivera was also nice to listen to. With his curly goth hair and bored expression, he resembled one of the Reid brothers while playing very simple yet arresting guitar patterns that nearly beat the sisters in brightness and quirk. -- Edward Charlton

Peter Case | Paul Collins | Remaining Tour Dates

March 3, 2012

Today's Hotness: Mincer Ray, Autochrome, Black Swan Runners

Mincer Ray -- Ray Mincer
>> Everybody knows the rap about Robert Pollard: everything he turns out is good, and there are dependably regular moments of sublime and transcendent rock and roll. Berlin- and Chicago-based mid-fi indie trio Mincer Ray would seem to follow suit, although at this point they have a much shorter track record than the preposterously prolific Mr. Pollard. What has us all up in arms about Mincer Ray today is that the act is hiding its most spectacular track, "A Burning Plane," 10 songs deep into its recent 12-song effort Ray Mincer. Don't hide the rock! We will find it! We think Mincer Ray could be excused if "A Burning Plane" occupied the first five slots of the new record, as the song is a dynamite anthem on par with your "Buzzards And Dreadful Crows," your "Game Of Pricks," your "Exit Flagger." Of course, Ray Mincer isn't all riveting, GBV-styled guitar anthems. Elsewhere the collection lazily sprawls across southern-seared "Hair" to the weirdly waltzing ballad "The Feet I Found." In contrast, "A Burning Plane" can't catch its breath and seems to endlessly ascend, lifted by stuttering drum beat and the clarion call of guitars that echo the intense squall of REM's "A Finest Worksong." Stream the song via the embed below; Ray Mincer was posted to Bandcamp in mid-February. Clicky Clicky fans may recognize the name Austin Brown, who recorded the record. Mr. Brown is the man behind High Heels, a band we wrote about here late last month. Small world, eh?

>> We don't suppose there are a lot of people out there who remember the Montreal quartet Kiss Me Deadly, whose full length Misty Medley was among our favorites of 2005. As it happens, the guitar work in the stellar new Autochrome single "100 Series" certainly reminds us of Kiss Me Deadly's "Dance 4" (jeepers, we haven't written about Kiss Me Deadly in six years almost to the day). But anyway, we're really here to talk about Autochrome, who are poised to make a big splash when they issue their debut long-player Separation Realms at the end of this month. "100 Series" is the first single from the record and its alluring blend of Chameleons UK's brand of '80s darkwave and modern, antiseptic production sensibilities is delicious. Autochrome's demo for "Senses" was released to the wilds of the Internets a year ago and made a strong impression based on its minimal instrumentation, soaring melodic sense and detached but passionate vocal. "100 Series" picks up where "Senses" left off, is equally strong, and evidences that the Boston quartet has the goods. "100 Series" was launched at The Pill dance party Feb. 17, and you can watch a live clip from that night for another new song, "Mind Changer," right here. The hotly anticipated release party for Separation Realms occurs March 30 at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge, MA. Clicky Clicky faves Soccer Mom, Young Adults and Night Fruit also perform, making the bill one of the strongest of the season. Stream "100 Series" via the embed below.

>> We'd been keeping an ear on Black Swan Runners for some time, and our patience has been rewarded with the resolute, mid-tempo strummer "Smart Kids" and another preview track, "Sooner Or Later." The songs tout a slightly more electronic flavor than what we are used to from fronter Kevin Castillo, but his songwriting otherwise continues to trade on the heartfelt vocals (in an increasingly Petty-esque timbre, we note) and persistent guitars that have characterized his music for more than 15 years; Mr. Castillo previously helmed the acts CoCo B's and Retriever. Black Swan Runners are slated to release the full-length debut An Aside sometime this year (late last year it was projected to be released in February, but of course that month has come and gone already). As we said here in January, 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. "Smart Kids" should certainly go a long way toward firing the imaginations of the guitar-loving indie rock set, as it is easily as catchy as "Give Up The Money/1982." Catch the embed below.