December 12, 2013
Today's Hotness: Ringo Deathstarr, Boston Does Boston
>> The 2014 album announcements are coming fast and furious these days, with Clicky Clicky faves Speedy Ortiz, Krill and The War On Drugs all making (albeit expected) disclosures of this sort in recent days. We noted yet another over at the Clicky Clicky Facebook page Monday, but given our enduring love for noise-pop heroes Ringo Deathstarr we wanted to reiterate here the news: the Austin-based trio will release a new collection, Gods Dream, in the U.S. in 2014. The set is being released first in Japan Dec. 18 via the Vinyl Junkie label, so if you are in Japan, feel blessed. A preview track, "Flower Power," is already available to people of all nations; in addition to being awesome, the song features guest guitar work from the legendary Swervedriver fronter Adam Franklin (we should note here that Swervedriver also issued to the wilds of the Internerds recently two new songs that are terrific). "Flower Power" opens with two barking guitar chords and a rhythmic red herring; after the first half-minute the song explodes into a four-on-the-floor belter that re-centers the beat and then gets progressively heavier and more manic with each passing bar, until an oasis of melodic, calm interrupts the frenzy and resets the song, allowing it to establish a slow, elegiac groove. This being Ringo Deathstarr, the serenity persists but unsurprisingly crumbles, giving way to a final 40 seconds of grind. "Flower Power" is an auspicious taste of a record we expect we will listen to quite a lot in 2014; there is as yet no information about a label or release date for what is hopefully an inevitable domestic release. Vinyl Junkie's web site indicates the record has nine tracks, including three that are exclusive to the Japanese release, so maybe Gods Dream is actually an EP? Hard to say what a domestic release will look like until it is announced. While we wait, stream "Flower Power" via the Soundcloud embed below. We reviewed The Deathstarr's 2011 debut full-length Colour Trip here, and its 2012 collection Mauve right here.
>> It's the sheer magnitude of the effort that impresses us most about Boston Does Boston, a new, two-disc benefit compilation that features local independent rock combos covering one another's work. Proceeds from the sale of the set will be donated to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which means the set gets our vote pretty much right out of the gate. Besides the production costs of the CDs, everything else related to making Boston Does Boston happen was donated -- right down to the studio time, the art and the mastering -- which is pretty wonderful, and speaks to the kindness in the music community in our fair burg. The running order of the formidable collection is daisy-chained across 26 songs, with each artist or act covering a song by the next artist/act performing the following track. So, for example, Clicky Clicky fave Ted Billings (who is actually now based in Brooklyn) covers former Elevator Drops guitarist Garvy J.'s "Celebrate," then Garvy J. covers Sarah Rabdau and Self-Employed Assassins' "Pavement Prophet," and so forth. The biggest hooks might just be in I, Pistol's blazing version of The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library's anthemic "Amylee." Relatively new power-pop act Parks' take on Corin Ashley's "Badfinger Bridge" is another one that will have you hitting the "back" button on your IPod (or having you root around in there for Mr. Ashley's criminally-lost-in-the-shuffle-by-us 2013 collection New Lion Terraces -- hear it at Spotify). Boston Does Boston is a lot of music to take in all at once; perhaps that makes the holiday season the best time to release it, a time when folks might have a chance to put their feet up and really dig in. There will be not one, not two, but three CD release shows, beginning tomorrow night at Brighton Music Hall. Full details of the three events can be found here, here and here, and you can purchase the collection via this Bandcamp page. Can't make it to the show? Want to do more than just buy a CD? There are lots of different ways to support the very good work the Animal Rescue League performs. Read more about that right here.