December 17, 2005

"I will write a mystery for you to solve." - The Lilys.

Hi there everybody!! (Hi, Dr. Nick!!).

Just a quick post to point you to places I can more readily be found. I am thrilled that people keep being drawn here via Google searches and whatnot. Several people have gotten in touch to help me out with out of print or unreleased music that I've talked about here, for which I am pretty thankful. So this blog, while dormant, is still serving a purpose.

-=- People who arrive here and want to read something fresh can click over to Junkmedia's World of Sound blog, which I write and edit for the Junkmedia overlords. It launched in mid-August of 2005 and I am pretty pleased with how it is going, despite the long hours it takes. I hope that its posts about the contemporary music scene are at least as interesting as the often more archeological stuff that I wrote here.

-=- If you'd like to contact me personally, hit up my MySpace page.

Thanks again for reading.

August 15, 2005

"1-2-3 And I Come With the Wicked Style"

To paraphrase The Hold Steady, Junkmedia's got something in its sweatpants. And today we're showing it off. Welcome to the redesigned publication, and welcome to our weblog World of Sound. Here we aim to offer more background, context and opinion to complement the features and reviews we've been slinging for the last few years. World of Sound is brewing up a slate of its own features that will gently roll out over the next few weeks, so keep checking in. Want to get in touch with World of Sound? Send an email to jay at junkmedia dot org.

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

You Heard It Here Second: Animal Collective, Holopaw

Relatively fresh streams abound. You can hear samples of three cuts from the forthcoming Animal Collective record Feels [Fat Cat], which streets in two months, over here at the Boomkat site. Thanks to Stereogum for the link. Fluxblog here posted an additional Animal Collective cut, "Grass," last week and claims the new material is much more accessible than the band's earlier efforts. The samples we heard were delicate, dense and melodic all at the same time -- it doesn't get too much better than that, right? Of the three, we enjoyed "Loch Raven" most, but it all sounds solid. If you can't wait around to develop your own take, access the thoughts, feelings and opinions of the hive mind of ILM here. Elsewhere, Catbirdseat points us to a stream of the new Holopaw record, which is hosted over here at Subpop.

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

Pick Up The Phone

Seriously, just how long have you been waiting for the day when technology finally caught up with your searing desire to have At The Drive-In's "Invalid Litter Dept." as the ringtone on your cellphone? Or Tullycraft's "Superboy and Supergirl"? Rejoice, rejoice people, because two companies, Xingtone and Digital Rights Agency, have partnered to launch a service called Bliptones that will let you inflict your favorite brand of nerd rock on all those poor commercial radio-fed drones you have to ride the subway with every time your shizzy blows up on your hip. All you need is a compatible phone, a service provider who is on board (it looks there are seven big ones in North America) and two bucks per ringtone. Think this is a stupid idea? Believe it or not, ringtones were a four-billion dollar business globally last year -- Sasha said so. So why not cut Bratmobile in on a little chunk of the action? While there is a Death Cab tone among the 200 or so for sale, there is an obvious glaring omission: how can a service called Bliptones not offer anything from The Postal Service? [Via]

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

Where's The Show: Slow Dazzle

World of Sound is going to play favorites, at least a little bit. We've got some favorites, we're proud of it, let's accept we're going to talk about 'em here and move along. One of said favorites is The Mendoza Line, that rag-tag bunch of indie rockers loosely based in Brooklyn. And in case you haven't been paying attention, Mendoza Line principles Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle put their heads together in the past year or so for a project called Slow Dazzle. The pair concocted a haunting little charmer called The View from the Floor [MP3s here] for Misra Records and they are on the road right now promoting it. Eight dates remain. So where's the show?

8/15 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Garfield Artworks
8/16 -- Columbus, OH -- Andyman’s Treehouse
8/18 -- Minneapolis, MN -- 7th St. Entry
8/19 -- Des Moines, IA -- Vaudeville Mews
8/20 -- Urbana, IL -- Canopy Club
8/21 -- Chicago, IL -- Schuba’s
8/22 -- Madison, WI -- High Noon Saloon
8/23 -- St. Louis, MO -- Way Out Club

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]

Here I Am Outside Your House At 3AM

We were minding our own business and reading Stereogum's bit about a big rock and roll festival in Staten Island and Brooklyn in early October when we were struck by one name in the line-up: The Lemonheads. Wha? Apparently frontman Evan Dando brought the act (which has not released a record in nine years), or at least the moniker, out of retirement about 10 days ago for a Spanish festival date. This news according to our reputable friends over at NME. Based on the set list for the festival show, it doesn't look like Dando is playing any material from records prior to It's A Shame About Ray, unfortunately. If we were in charge of that All Tomorrow's Parties doohickey this year where bands are playing classic albums front to back, we'd have front row seats for a run through Lick with the band's classic line-up. Oh well.

[Originally posted at Junkmedia's World of Sound]


-=- Reuters reports on a new service called BurnLounge that aims to make every Tom, Dick and Harry an online music retailer. AP counters with a story detailing newly stoked but very old fears in the retail music industry about CD burning. Remember when you had CDs? Man, that was weird. Anyway, in the AP piece the RIAA claims burned CDs accounted for almost a third of all recorded music obtained by fans in 2004, almost twice as much as the amount attributed to downloads from file-sharing networks.

-=- Pfork rhapsodizes over Dinosaur Jr.'s recent Detroit performance here.

-=- IndieWorkshop boils down the rumours around major label group EMI's impending announcement of a purchase of Wind-Up Records, which is interesting to us primarily because Wind-Up used to be Grass [The Wrens offer a history lesson on that here]. Grass Records put out some great records including Loomis' You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow. The album has a perfect leadoff cut, "Conquistador." Try to track it down. Grass also released Wrens stuff, which is also noted in the IndieWorkshop piece, and which most everybody knows via living through it or due to the band's strong resurgence. For a fuller account, read Pitchfork's fairly well-reported recent item.

-=- Chromewaves notes here that a new Belle and Sebastian biography Just A Modern Rock Story is in the racks, and amusingly wonders how interesting a book might be about a throng of quiet, bookish recluses.

-=- Hey, Bauhaus reformed. Jeez, this reunion stuff is getting exhausting.

[originally published at World of Sound]

August 12, 2005

"I was dressed for success, but success it never comes." - Pavement.

Well friends, change is afoot. The Junkmedia blog we will be writing and editing is slated to launch Monday, barring any unforseen difficulties on the technical side. It is called World of Sound, and if you have been reading Clicky Clicky for any length of time, we think you'll enjoy it. There are going to be new features, and we hope that some of you will lend a hand with some of them when time permits. It's been a pleasure blogging for you here, and there may occasionally be some posts here whenever we feel the need to talk about something that wouldn't quite fit over at World of Sound. Anyhoo, come Monday why not come check out our new digs at Junkmedia? We're linked prominently in the lower left hand corner.

UPDATE: Here is a hard link to the blog that actually works right now, now being an hour or two before the actual Junkmedia relaunch. So if you want a sneak peek, or if you are reading this tomorrow the peek is not as sneaky, here is Junkmedia's World of Sound.

That is all.

August 10, 2005

"I'm all that's left of this awful mess." - Meneguar.

Sorry, no stuff tonight or tomorrow night. The parents are coming through town. Back this weekend.

- The Management.

August 9, 2005

"Please dontcha speak to me, you see I'm just the temp." - Meneguar. hypes the new Mobius Band record, which streeted today. The Spin piece notes the very solid new tune "Twilight" from said record, which relates the woes of working the shitty jobs musicians are forced to take in order to make a living. We enjoy the song plenty, but a few minutes ago we got the word from our man El Stengelero, and he had the data on some new stuff from an act called Meneguar. One of the Meneguar tunes, "The Temp" [available at the band's web site but not at their MySpace hizzy] is the clear leader in contemporary shit-job related songs.

Meneguar who? Exactly. We've missed the boat on this too up until now. Apparently Meneguar is a reformulation of Sheryl's Magnetic Aura, who put out a great self-titled EP a few years back that we reviewed for Splendid here. The EP has one incredible, five-star jam called "Making New Friends." You should make it a priority to track this song down, it's hopping. According to the Meneguar web site Sheryl's stagnated, so the principals rebranded in early 2004 and went back to the drawing board with what sounds like an equally rocking, if somewhat more agressive post-emo agenda. Yes, a Haywood reference is warranted here, and you'll note we snuck one into our Sheryl's review.

Meneguar starts a mini-tour tomorrow, and if we had any sort of ambition we would drive out to Florence, MA to see them. But we can't even work up the ambition to see Voxtrot in Somerville tomorrow, so that seems unlikely. Anyway, kudos Stengelero, you got a nose for the American Good Rock.



Pfork has an awesome interview with the Silver Jews, a/k/a Dave Berman, who actually discusses his own earnings. You know how we like the numbers. Berman made $45K in 2001, the last year he made a record. That is pretty darn good for an indie musician. Going back to topics discussed above related to shit jobs -- that is pretty good money. Maybe music does pay? There are plenty of threads over at ILM that talk about how prominent rockers still sling ink at Kinko's and the like. We're glad Berman has a good year every now and again. And that he has gotten clean.

Wow, this is an interesting one: stalwart indie rock labels Spin-Art and Lookout! are some of the newest members of the RIAA, according to the very attentive CatbirdSeat.

The Waves That Are Chrome point us to a great collection of RIDE videos. Where? Why, of course. Awesome.

That is all.

August 8, 2005

"You're not the one who let me down, but thanks for offering." - Archers of Loaf.

If you've been wondering, like we have, what the hell became of Brainwashed's relaunch of The Brain, here is the explanation. It has to do with ones and zeroes and lawyers and money and stuff. Also, according the the site, this Friday's Colleen show is not at Great Scott, but at PA's Lounge. With Keith Fullerton Whitman toplining, to boot. Hot diggity.

Fluxblog, who hasn't really had much that has interested us for what seems like months, takes some time out to criticize Death Cab. Always nice when someone clearly states a contrarian viewpoint. We aren't nearly the Death Cab fans we were when We Have The Facts came out, and we are very unmoved by the tracks we've heard from the new album, but we're still down with The Cab. Stereogum reports the record has finally leaked to P2P and readers offer their thoughts here.

According to this news item at IndieWorkshop, the Cure are recording this fall and aim for a release next April. Hard to get excited about a release from a band who hasn't really done anything we've liked for 13 years. But hope springs eternal. We were particularly excited when the band downsized to a trio over the spring, but that didn't last, unfortunately.

Apple's ITunes store for the Japanese market sold a million tunes in four days, according to this AP dispatch. Japan is considered the third largest music market, or at least it used to be, but we guess there really is something to be said for the culture's affinity for technology -- it took a week for ITunes to sell a million tunes in the U.S. Apple must be especially pleased because they are selling songs for between $1.35 and $1.80 (converted from Yen). Fatter margins, fatter pockets, Jobs-dizzle.

We're a couple weeks behind on this one, but Billboard reported in late July that a lender who had loaned TVT Records some money in exchange for certain rights to catalog titles was auctioning off said rights. Things on the proverbial auction block include unspecified rights to Nine Inch Nails' amazing debut, Pretty Hate Machine. Wierd, huh?

That is all.

August 7, 2005

"Hit me like you did the first time, come on now." - The Flaming Lips.

Eagle-eyed indie rock provocateur The Bster, who is newly deracinated and re-installed in North Carolina, reports in that both Haywood and Haywood's primary songwriter Ted Pauly (f/k/a here as Reader #6) have both taken up residence on MySpace. Obviously we are pretty excited. Not that there is too much there that we haven't heard.

But there is a new (to us anyway) Pauly tune "Still Wanna Know" that is typically solid. And just the fact that folks not already in the loop can hear here Ted's shatteringly poignant summation of post-adolescence/young adulthood (and Haywood's final show), "Dear Philadelphia," is really great, and its a different recording than the one we'd ascertained previously. The song is a gem. Perhaps most exciting of all is it seems like the recently recorded posthumous Haywood stuff may finally have a venue, albeit informal, at the Haywood page. One new song is already there, though if you dropped coin on the Music.For-Robots comp you've already heard it. Anyway, both pages have great songs, many of them all-time Clicky Clicky favorites: "Ogden" (!), "Crosswords" and "Your Bag." Those who haven't heeded our exhortations to search out the 'Wood previously have no excuse now. Don't disappoint.

In other news of the Philadelphia of a time gone past, former mouthpiece and all around quality guy Matty Graves sends word that Rhapsody has finally obtained the Lilys catalogue. He does a great job of hyping the band's debut long-player here. Seriously, if you don't have this record you are sort of a loser. Sorry. Those are the rules.

We noticed that Amazon beleives The Get Quick record drops 8/23, not 8/9 as promised. It is worth pointing out that Amazon's price is $15.99, while we paid a mere $7.97. Of course, the record hasn't shown up yet, and we have a wierd feeling this record may not even be coming out, since there is no hype, besides our own, to speak of. The Rainbow Quartz web site has no updates since last spring and The Get Quick web site is still just barely there. Quizzical.

We got another email about the Sigur Ros record, this one from Geffen. Dear Geffen: have one of your code jockeys compare your mailing list to the band's UK label, or vice versa, and shake out the overlap -- your duplicate efforts are taking up valuable space in our Junkmedia email box that could be better used for Cialis solicitations from suspicious foreigners.

UPDATE: Dear Internet -- in addition to the Rocketship single "Hey Hey Girl," which nobody has helped us out with yet, we are also very interested in getting Blonde Redhead's "Jetstar," particularly the version found on Zero Hour's Threadwaxing Space comp. Please.

That is all.

August 6, 2005

"Give me a reason that you won't stay." - Small Factory.

There is an ever so scant update at the Chocolate Hearts website about the forthcoming Hi-Soft EP. There isn't much news, or at least nothing that we hadn't heard previously as speculation on the WHYME? podcast, but basically the release will be a five-song EP and it is "coming soon." The update also mentions a new release for the label by a band called The Snow Fairies, who apparently sound like Heavenly and Clicky Clicky all-time-favorite Small Factory. So we hope to check that out at some point.

We don't think we are speaking out of school when we say we have been told that the Junkmedia relaunch, and attendant launch of the Junkmedia blog World of Sound that we will be writing and editing, is slated for August 22nd. So get psyched.

A dispatch from FatCat we received in our newly resuscitated Junkmedia mailbag describes what sounds like a pretty captivating electronic release from the duo of Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko. In FatCat's opinion "the album is a beautiful marriage of sweet female vocals alongside pristine, lusciously textured and layered electronics, and some great beat programming." Sounds pretty good, right? You can listen to a few samples here. It's sort of Vespertine-ish, in a good way.

The 'Nac's big update this past week featured a bunch of live MP3s from a number of acts including Charlene, for whom Mr. Almanac himself now drums. Anyway, the two Charlene cuts posted are "Ripoff," a real standout cut from the act's 2002 self-titled release on SharkAttack!, and "The Way of Things." We recommend downloading the latter because it is unreleased as of yet and it is a great song. While it is a close cousin to "Ripoff," it also frankly is a spitting image of the best Kitchens of Distinction stuff. And that is not too shabby in our book. Do check it out.

ClipTip, one of our newest stops during the day, has a link to a pretty nice Schneider TM video. We don't think Schneider TM gets enough props, but perhaps after you watch the video you will be more prone to hand 'em over.

Coolfer has some insight into confusion at Sony BMG in a post-Payola settlement world.

That is all.

August 4, 2005

"The way I used to love you that's the way I hate you now." - Replacements.

It seems odd that we are first hearing about the latest Via Tania single from Splendid, which is typically weeks behind the release curve by dint of its policy of reviewing every submission. When did Via Tania stop being cool? Or maybe Splendid's Chicago location gives them the inside track on the release? Well, maybe not, The Beat Surrender based out of the U.K. has a review here.

OK, so we found a stream of the new Sigur Ros at Scenestars today and had the same reaction to it as we have had to their earlier records. It is musically really great (especially the huge, soaring parts of "Glsli" and "Saeglopur"), but we can never get past the lyrics, which are apparently in a made-up language. A very pleasant record to listen to, absolutely. But it took us most of the afternoon to not get irked by the vocals to a certain extent. With the vocals stripped out someone could make a pretty good case for the music being very close to the stuff on Kompakt's Pop Ambient comp series. And that's pretty good.

Stypod today has a great bit devoted to Big Youth, a reggae artist whose influence permeated a lot of British punk (The Clash) and post-punk (PIL). Worth reading.

Finally, a list of hot upcoming rock shows. We'll definitely see Mobius Band and Mendoza Line. Everything else is on the bubble, although we'd really like to see Colleen and The Hold Steady, too.

8/10 Voxtrot
8/12 Colleen
8/14 Texas Governor

9/6 Mobius Band
9/8 Mendoza Line
9/8 Bloc Party
9/11 Hold Steady
9/14 Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah
9/19 Hockey Night
9/22 The Teeth
9/22 Royskopp

That is all.

August 3, 2005

"Hey, won't you get out of bed now?" - Mock Orange.

Five dozen visitors yesterday? Really? We weren't even fielding our A squad. Oh well. We're sure it won't happen again.

For eons we've had a email alias that was sposed to redirect Junkmedia mail to us. Well, we guess it never worked, because the Junkmedia Bossman re-set up the box recently and gave us web access to it and we get all sorts of mail there. Most of it spam, but some of it useful.

Feriggzampull, we're not much for Sigur Ros, just never really allocated the time, but we got mail from their label saying what's up. We guess IndieWorkshop is on the same email list, since they posted the info. You can just go read up on the Sigsters over there. But in case anybody out there has been using "jay at junkmedia dot org" to try to send us mail in the last couple years, sorry we didn't get back to you. But we promise we'll be good from here on out.

We loved the movie Dig!, but we never really got The Brian Jonestown Massacre -- pretty boring stuff, innit? Anyway, Philebrity thinks they blow too. So hooray for everybody.

Shake Your Fist gives much-deserved props to the A-Sides here. The recently revived Indie Kids has a new Mobius Band cut here [the title track to The Loving Sounds of Static, which streets next week, is still the best of the new cuts we've heard].

Lopez is watching Veronica Mars, which just used Notwist's "Pick Up The Phone" in the opening sequence. Life is getting pretty wierd like that.

That is all.

August 2, 2005

"Tell me why I love the weather, tell my why I love the weather." - Lefty's Deceiver.

Coolfer does some pretty extensive research into what is going on with Fiona Apple's unreleased Extraordinary Machine, which, if you haven't been paying attention, is something of a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot kind of phenomenon at this point. Tons of interesting information at the link. Something we really enjoy about Coolfer's vantage point on things is that it consistently emphasizes the importance of the retail angle, something that is typically ignored in music coverage and has been somewhat more downplayed since the advent of the .MP3. Anyway, Coolfer doesn't disappoint here, and ends with a barrage of provocative questions. (For those who don't recall, we love the title track to "Extraordinary Machine," along with most anything that Jon Brion has had a hand in making.)

Target has some sort of incredibly involved online lifestyler ad campaign that features The Hold Steady, Bloc Party and a bunch of other hip bands. They are running the ad at Pfork -- we wonder if that is their biggest advertiser ever, besides the major labels, of course. Anyway, it looks kind of interesting, it's got a bunch of episodes that go live at weekly intervals. We are sure it is basically just Felicity with a bunch of indie rock in it, but that's better than regular old (or no) Felicity, innit?

Splendid gives Amusement Parks On Fire's self-titled record the feature review treatment. We've heard some of this on the Internets and it is good.

That is all.

August 1, 2005

"I've been away since Friday and you don't know the way." - Dinosaur Jr.

M.F-R has a cut from the forthcoming Mobius Band record and says some nice things about it here. The song featured, "I Just Turned 18," is one of the numbers that bassist Peter Sax sings, and he seems to have found a really nice key for his voice to work in here. An older number of his, "Compass," had a vocal that was at the top of his range and he often had to work to really hit it throughout. "18" reveals a whole new, stronger vocal side for him.

The song itself [hard link to M.F-R file] is heavy on the electronics, and fits well within the rest of the Ghostly International label aesthetic. We still prefer the big guitar stuff Mobius Band kicks, or at least the more guitar-oriented stuff, but "I Just Turned 18" shows a new side of the band, and it is nice to hear a surprise from a band we've followed closely for three years.

Looky here, Parasol has its own one sheet for the Get Quick record, which reveals some new details about what to expect. How The Story Goes was recorded at Sear Sound with vintage gear, some of which was previously in Abby Road studios. Anyway, there's more references at the link to acts including ELO and the Beatles and other stuff. Oh yeah, the listing for How The Story Goes now has been amended to note that they only have "limited inventory" of the record and that "sell out risk" is "very high." What, did they only print ten copies of this record?

So now, according to Chromewaves, the forthcoming Strokes record is slated to drop on our birthday. So you are all going to have to coordinate on who gets it for us, cause, you know, one is probably enough.

That is all.

July 31, 2005

"And the life you had, you lose somehow." - The Mobius Band.

Thoughts on Fearless Freaks, the recently released Flaming Lips documentary we watched this evening:

1. Stephen Drozd makes musical manna with amazing ease. His harrowing bout with drug addiction is covered starkly in the film, not belabored but certainly squarely confronted. Said struggle was also frankly discussed in a Junkmedia interview that now we can't track down. Well, we can track down the interview with Drozd, but it isn't the one we thought it was perhaps it was a different pub. Oh well.

2. We got hooked on the Lips about 10 years later than we should have. We can remember Zozman giddily cuing up "Kim's Watermelon Gun" on a tape deck in South Wayne back when Clouds Taste Metallic came out. We guess we just weren't ready then. The song is not featured in the movie.

3. The film focuses more heavily on Wayne Coyne than others. No surprise, but it seems like many of the players who came and went along the way were given short shrift, some only mentioned in the credits at the end.

4. Oklahoma City seems an oddly familiar place. We guess suburbia has a universal sort of culture. We like how Wayne lives within blocks of many members of his nuclear family in what seems like a fairly modest home. The flashiest thing he has is a green truck that is shiny and has an enclosed cab.

5. Coyne seems very handy, building sets for his own movie, carrying around ladders to clean his Mom's gutters. Very down to Earth.

6. We bet all the kids in his neighborhood love that Coyne lives there.

7. The DVD has very few extras. Obligatory commentary, but no videos, no extra live footage at the end. It's sort of disappointing, 'cause the movie will definitely get you psyched to check that sort of thing out, and then doesn't provide any resources.

8. Finally, we didn't realize that one dood Jonathan Donahue left the Lips for Mercury Rev, and ultimately was part of Harmony Rockets, whose Paralyzed Mind of the Archangel Void is enormously under-appreciated. It sort of explains a lot of parallels the bands have, such as the use of Fridmann, etc. Or if not explains them, at least provides meaningful context for them.

Anyway, none of that really does the film justice. But you should make a point to see it. We rented it from Netflix, and there is probably little reason you can't do that yourself.

That is all.

July 28, 2005

"Now you got your face in every magazine..." - The Coctails.

So AllMusic states the first Jane's Addiction record was in fact recorded at the Roxy in L.A., which conflicts with the info that we got from Buddyhead recently. Or does it -- maybe it was recorded there but not with a live audience? Who can you believe? Anyway, we'd prefer to think that the record was in fact live, just because that is what we've believed for the last 15 years.

Incidentally, we completely disagree with the AllMusic reviewer's take on the record, that it will only interest completists. We don't believe the reviewer has a sense of the time period during which the record was recorded, and how startling and exciting songs like "Chip Away" and "1%" were at the time. Oh well. We're old.

For some strange reason, you can pre-order The Get Quick record at already for $9 including a buck for shipping. It just seems odd that the listing shows up in search results. We were looking around for more info to see whether the record streets 8/9 or 8/23 -- claims it streets 8/9, so we guess it isn't weird that they are already taking pre-orders for the record. Although it is hard to believe that there is already "overstock" of the record, since it hasn't been released yet. Anyway, we ordered a copy, just because we thought the whole thing was a little odd. If you are in Philly, it looks like Silk City is hosting a record release party 9/2, which is at least two weeks after the record streets if not more. All very quizzical.

"Guess you can't **** ** in the *** and get on the spaceship." The latest Buddyhead gossip update is as brutal as ever.

chips in its own remembrances of Karate to mark the dissolution of the band.

Here's more on AAIM, the new indie label trade group we mentioned in context of the ITunes issue earlier this week.

That is all.

July 27, 2005

"Now it's touched, it's broken, the taste just slips away." - Ride.

If you don't read Magnet, then you didn't read the little feature [.pdf] they did in the latest issue regarding the A-Sides. Our favorite part is the discussion of the closer of the band's supertastic debut, Hello, Hello, a song called "Here or There" [links to .mp3 at band's site]. Turns out the tune doesn't just sound like Ride by accident -- producer extraordinaire Brian McTear made an effort to bring the vibe to the song. The good news is, according to the interview, this is a direction the band intends to continue pursuing. So awesome.

In related Magnet news, the more-often-than-not worthless comp CD they send along with the glossy came with the Mobius Band cut "Starts Off With A Bang," Say Hi To Your Mom's "The Twenty-Second Century" and a new Brian Eno cut on it. Not bad. All the good cuts are still offset by some pretty lowly material, but not bad.

DigitalMediaWire brought this morning's installment of news related to the ITunes/indie parity thing. Apparently the newly announced indie label group American Association of Independent Music has secured an agreement with Apple that will let indie labels get the same wholesale price, or cut, for its music as the major labels do. Prior to the agreement indie labels only got $.65 of ITunes' $.99 retail price for the song. Now they get the same $.70 that those jokers Sony BMG, Universal, Warner and EMI get. Apparently MSN Music, which we suspect no one uses anyway, still has a similar disparity in rates that A2IM hopes to correct. A2IM claims indie music accounts for 28% of the music market, although it doesn't qualify what market exactly they are talking about.

Our time may be growing shorter. There is more movement afoot over at Junkmedia with regards to its redesign. The redesign, which we discussed earlier this summer, will include a blog called World of Sound that will be written and edited by yours truly. We saw the template for the blog earlier today and it looks sweeeeeeeeeet. Once that blog goes live things will get really slow here. But we hope you'll join us over at World of Sound.

That is all.

July 26, 2005

"I was half-dead, then I was born again..." - The Hold Steady.

So here is something crazy. If you frequent the blogosphere then you are probably somewhat hipped to the existence of an act called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who have gotten hyped at Coolfer and the Pfork and Big Ticket and countless other places despite not have a proper release or a label deal. Well at the behest of the Ticket we finally got around to checking them out, and we were pleased with what we heard. Then we went to their web site and lo and behold, it appears CYHSY includes the Sargent twins, friends of former Placeholders Scales and Stengel. If memory serves the Sargents once passed through our old kitchen on Magazine Street. And at least one of them was in a Boston act called Clown Down, which cut a very good demo we have a copy of. So perhaps in the future we will post some of the best Clown Down stuff. Only problem is we don't think we ever got the track list for it. Oh well...

MTS has posted the leadoff cut to the new Mazarin record, which is a quiet monster, much in the same way the Lilys' Eccsame The Photon Band is. The record streets today, and is the first in a series of big, big releases out of Philadelphia, three others being forthcoming discs from Windsor For The Derby (now operating out of Illadelph), The Get Quick and, uh, another band we can't think of right now. Anyway, Philebrity also hypes the new Mazarin joint. Seriously people, big record here. Grab three MP3s at the link, particularly "Louise" and the title track.

According to its web site
, the Mendoza Line have completed mixing their next record, Full of Light and Full of Fire, which is slated to drop in November on Misra. Congrats all around. We look forward to seeing the band up here again in MA September 8. The band now has a MySpace page and suggests there may be new tracks previewed there sometime in the future.

OK, so Brainwashed isn't going away, it is just doing away with The Brain brand, which we don't think anybody ever really paid attention to anyway. The stalwart pub is revamping and relaunches 8/1.

The NYT gets at the nuts and bolts of the Sony BMG payola: cash, gift cards, free TVs, laptops, air fare, and sneakers. Quoth Spitzer: ""It is omnipresent. It is driving the industry and it is wrong." Fine. But whatever happened to hookers and blow? We jest...

Wolk says the forthcoming Big Star record is abominable. And that's too bad.

That is all.

July 25, 2005

"Say everything's great, everything is fine." - Rocketship.

Geoff Farina has pulled the plug on Karate, sadly, according to Pfork. Mark For Robots eulogizes the now late-lamented Karate here. We turned onto Karate with their first single, which was released as Chris Newmyer's first record for his label, Self Starter Foundation (later home to Haywood). When the single came into WESU we played it because of Chris, but the music hooked us. We saw the band for the first time at Wes in 1997 before the big trip to Europe. At the time the band was a quartet, and they were just huge, blowing the doors off of WestCo Cafe. We blew the last shot of our roll of film taking a pic of H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable, so unfortunately we have no shots of the show. Mark For Robots encourages you to go out and buy a Karate record -- we'd encourage you to dig up the first two in particular.

Scroll below Pfork's Karate item for the sketchy details of Jandek's first ever tour. Or at least first ever announced series of dates, of which there are three. His recent, first-ever performance in Glasgow was a shocking occurrence. It is sad to think that shock will wear off, but we think it can be sustained through at least three dates. So there.

Coolfer points
to this post at CDBaby from Friday that discusses the breakdown of who gets what for a sale of a digital song through Itunes. Looks like for every $.99 download, Itunes keeps $.29. If CDBaby is inbetween your band and Itunes, they take 9%, or 6.3 cents. CDBaby claims this is the best, which we take to mean lowest fee, in the industry.

We imagine Elliot Spitzer is the kind of guy who is disliked by more people than he is liked. But we think he is the man for taking on the big music conglomerates. Honestly, we don't think we would care that the entire business is run on graft and hookers if it hadn't had such an impact on commercial radio. Anyway, the New York AG was expected to announce a settlement wrested from Sony BMG that imposes fines (reportedly a piddling $10M) and aims to stop the flow of payola from the label group to radio stations. Similar settlements are said to be forthcoming with the other label conglomerates. Way to go, Ell-dog. Here's coverage from this morning, before the settlement was officially disclosed.

Anybody out there have a copy of the Rocketship "Hey, Hey, Girl" single on Bus Stop? Pretty, pretty please?

That is all.

July 24, 2005

"When I close my eyes you know I see sunrise, everyday." - MantaRay.

Here's some hot news.

It looks like the MantaRay banner has been retired (sad, but in our opinion ultimately necessary due to confusion with the popular Spanish act Manta Ray) and that mainman Erik Evol and drummer extraordinaire Mitch Joy have a new combo called The Get Quick. We sort of stumbled over the info on the RedEye site just now while we were poking around. The Get Quick issue their debut on Rainbow Quartz in August (we've found two dates during that month the record supposedly streets, so you'll just have to keep an eye out all month). The record is called How The Story Goes and it is produced by some guy related to the Lilys. Of course we're dying to hear it. We'll have to put in a request to Junkmedia HQ for them to keep an eye out for it for us.

MantaRay (or perhaps the band had already changed its name), as previously reported here, had recently included former Kam Fong drummer Mike Boran on rhythm guitar, according to our sources. No word whether Boran is with The Get Quick, but we are going to put out some feelers. The retail one-sheet at RedEye states the band is a quartet but only names three principals: Evol, Joy and a bass player named Jamie McMahon. No mention of the identity of the fourth member.

The beginnings of a Get Quick web site are here. Rainbow Quartz announced the signing here, but that, of course, wouldn't have meant anything to us if we hadn't seen the picture at the RedEye page. RedEye has a :30 MP3 sample of a song called "Live Without It," a hint of what to expect from The Get Quick. Very interesting, more atmospheric and light than the Cream-influenced power-pop of MantaRay. The one-sheet mentions a summer/fall North American tour, so there's hope that we'll see Evol and Joy, et al., outside their usual 100-mile radius around Philadelphia. More bulletins as events warrant.

For a taste of classic MantaRay, here's "Jugular."


Elsewhere: We took in a set by the rock act The Texas Governor Friday night with H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable. The set was dramatically more together and sounded much better than the show we took in earlier this summer at P.A.'s Lounge. And we're not just saying that because the band sported awesomely weak bunny suits made from white toxic waste suits with red hearts spray painted on around a stencil. We have to admit we weren't sold on the band after the PAL performance, and had to dig through H-Dawg's set of the band's records to really get on board.

But Friday evening the band was really alight, despite house sound that migrated from too weak and muddy at the open of the set to too loud and cacaphonous at the close of the set. There was a period at the midpoint where the sound was crystal, and you could hear more than the drums and lead guitar. Lead Governor Dave Goolkasian's guitar hasn't been loud enough either time we've seen them. But sound issues aside, the performance was really electric. The band had tightened up substantially over the last six weeks or so, perhaps because of some steady live playing. We're still eager to see the bass player and keyboard player do something that inspires, but on the whole we think this is a band worth following closely.

Steve Albini says goodbye
to Silkworm's Michael Dahlquist in the Chicago Reader. Thanks to The 'Nac for the link.

Cooler links to this pretty farcical snafu regarding the use of a bar code as album art that was not the actual bar code for the album, but for a Jack Johnson record. Multiple oopses ensue. Someone at Reuters obviously reads Coolfer, as this story went online several hours after the Coolfer blurb.

That is all.

July 20, 2005

"I can see you running 'round the town so obviously..." - Mazarin.

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!

Many of you, if you've drank beers with us in the past few years, know of our get-rich-quick scheme of developing some software that would let consumers use a desktop scanner to capture the visual information in the grooves of their records and then convert that visual information to a sound file. Alas, my technically inclined friend JJB has discovered that the idea has been taken by these doods. Oh well, back to the dryer lint idea.

One in three Britons owns Michael Jackson's Thriller
, and other interesting music tidbits, courtesy of Coolfer.

LHB points us to this Broken Social Scene interview over at MTV, in which the band's Drew notes they cut all the catchiest singles from the forthcoming record. Uuuuhhhm, why? Maybe that is why the NYC cops beat the crud out of that one dood.

Here are a couple podcasts we are going to check out, they come pretty highly recommended. Particularly the first one, which got a lot of hype from the 'Nac recently:

Oh yeah, here is a couple links to info about the Sebadoh III reissue that is in the works. The first is ILM's take on it; the second is from the Loobiecore discussion board, which features plenty of cold hard facts from Lou on what to expect. Pretty cool.

That is all.

July 18, 2005

"I've fallen into a state of grace that I can't get out of..." - Silkworm.

...and we're back.

Congratulations to Tina and Nito, who got engaged last week while we were all minding our own business at the beach.

Jeez, you go offline for a week and all sorts of stuff happens…

Holy crap, the drummer from Silkworm died in a car crash. Coverage here. More info here. Sad and pointless. In The West and Libertine are two of our favorite records (the latter has one of the best album covers in indie rock). If you don't have them you are missing parts insi-i-i-i-i-eeed.

And The Brain is going the way of the dodo bird after eight big, big years. What with the explosion of music journalism online, we guess this isn't that much of a surprise. But the site's importance can't be overstated.

Didn't Les Savy Fav break up? We thought we heard that when Inches came out. Well, apparently they were the best act at Pfork's Intonation Festival, at least according to Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua. And who's gonna argue with that guy?

Speaking of Pfork, this feature gives props to some very deserving and overlooked records, but is ultimately short-sighted in mostly ignoring records released before 1995. We'd argue that the premise of the article could be sharpened up and it would make a more forceful point if it asserted that it was important records released between 1990 and 1994 that actually defined the '90s. We're talking records like the aforementioned Silkworm titles, as well as the first three Lilys CDs, Superchunk's On The Mouth, Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary, and on and on and on

Speaking of the Lilys, Plain Parader Maria T. (who also blogs it out at HerJazz) gives in to an impulse to blog about the Lilys and two bands that are carrying on with the Lilys sound: The A-Sides and Hi-Soft. In bigger and better news, gears seem to be grinding behind the Hi-Soft machine -- they've got a MySpace page and a web site in the works. Definitely check out the tunes at the MySpace page. Hotness.

Splendid's stalwart reviewer Jennifer Kelly gives Mazarin's latest release, which we've already hyped here, the feature review treatment. A copy of the record is on its way to our doorstep for review in Junkmedia. No surprise, the Lilys' Kurt Heasley puts in an appearance on the record, which streets Tuesday.

Bradley's Almanac
has a full run-down of the Boston Dinosaur Jr. show we all missed, with MP3s to boot. His MP3s typically aren't the greatest quality (no fault of his own, natch, such is the nature of audience recordings) but we'll probably check out a few to see if anything sounds worth having. "In A Jar" sounds pretty hollow on first inspection. The posting also notes that a remaster and reissue of Sebadoh III is currently in the works. We've never owned the record, though we've heard it dozens of times, so we'll be pleased to get our hot little hands on it. Anyway, you practically can't surf anywhere without hitting any Dino Jr. coverage, but if you don't know where to start, why not start at Chromewaves? CRM also had some nice things to say about the D.C. show.

That is all.

July 6, 2005

"We go to a restaurant, but you say it's love you want." - Men at Work.

Coolfer sees a parallel in the growth of the CD and the growth of the digital music market, meaning a slowdown in Itunes sales is more than likely, despite Apple's taking aim at the sale of its half-billionth download. Coolfer thinks a billion downloads for Apple is a given, but perhaps not two billion. Elsewhere, Coolfer Glen gives Yahoo Music Unlimited the gasface and observes the MSN Music appears dead in the water, at least for now.

So tonight we re-joined MySpace, certainly not to socially network, which we think is a sort of narcissistic black hole, but because we wanted to email Belaire and find out how to buy a copy of their EP. Go to their MySpace site and check out the song "Back Into The Wall," which was featured in the latest episode of the WhyMe podcast. Great indie rock with the same sort of synth fetish as Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!

Anyway, we had tried to go through life ignoring the MySpace thing after an initial checking out of it last summer, but so many bands are relying on the service that we guess we have to play ball. You can check out our MySpace page here.

Somewhere along the way we had forgotten that Eno was involved with creating that Windows 95 startup sound. EmptyFree reminded us and linked us to this piece about it.

Pitchfork does not like Slow Dazzle.

Tiny Mix Tapes points us to the soundtrack to the Flaming Lips documentary Fearless Freaks, which is available for free download here.

That is all.

July 5, 2005

"And they could see forever... and they could see..." - Helms.

The Buddyhead MP3 blog rightfully pays homage to the first Jane's Addiction record. We never knew it wasn't really live -- that is pretty disappointing in a way.

The Mobius Band are offering a download of the title track [right click and save as] to their forthcoming full length, which streets in early August. The song is a rocker. Melodic, more pointedly forceful in the rhythm section. Is the Mobius Band an updated, tougher Yo La Tengo? It's starting to sound that way. Or at least they're a younger one and are still exciting in the sense that the band has talented players who are still something of an unknown quantity.

That is all.

July 4, 2005

"Misjudged your limit, pushed you too far." - The Cure.

Some quick jots over coffee:

No surprise about this: KoooomDogg hated MTV's coverage of Live 8 as well. For a little comic relief, click over to Philebrity and read their coverage of the action from the press tent side of things. And no real surprise to anybody whose been old enough long enough: sounds like the storied Philly rock club The Khyber Pass Pub has been dealt one its almost annual closures by one of the city's more corrupt agencies, License & Inspections. Guess they forgot to grease the right wheels again.

Enterprising folks can go find audio and video of the various Live 8 performances out on the Interwebs. We just hunted down MP3s of the Cure's Paris performance. The files are high bitrate rips of a low bitrate webcast, so the sound is very dicey. But the set was pretty rockin,' the band had the distortion cranked up, something that gave the 1-2 set-closing punches of "Just Like Heaven" and "Boys Don't Cry" a bit of new energy. For the curious, the remainder of the set went, in order, "Open," "100 Years" and then "End." Big guitars. It would be great to hear a soundboard, pre-webcast recording of this. What we've encountered is really washy, albeit in a shiny high bit rate way.

One last thing on the Philly tip. With the new ITunes upgrade making it so easy to listen to podcasts, there is really no reason why you aren't listening to the WHYME podcast. It's long on Philly indie music, particularly one our obsessions, the Hi-Soft, who have a cut featured prominently in the latest episode. Also a great cut from former Franklinite Ralph Darden's Jai Alai Savant, which now operates out of Chicago we believe. Anyway, WHYME hipped us to the web site for the label apparently releasing the Hi-Soft EP sometime soon. We had been coming up empty Googling "Chocolate Hearts," turns out we needed to be going here. Why not hit up their web site and tell them to release the Hi-Soft EP, already?

[Secret Bonus Non-Music Discussion: Does anybody else watch The Inspector Lynley Mysteries on PBS? Damn, we are addicted to that show. Been watching for a couple seasons, but the latest two were especially good. End of transmission.]

That is all.

July 2, 2005

"Returning like superheroes." - June of 44.

What you didn't see: This AP article exactly communicates the disappointment we had with the absolutely pitiful, almost deplorable, Live 8 coverage as provided by MTV. To whit:

"And part of it was also MTV's failure to really try. There were as many commercial breaks as performances, and MTV's stable of correspondents spent more time talking about what a fantastic event it was instead of showing it."

We watched the entirety of the original Live Aid and recorded it to VHS in 1985, and frankly it was one of the most enjoyable things we've ever seen live or on TV. Today MTV consistently delivered half-performances interrupted incessantly by MTV announcers spewing meaningless banter. It was too much to bear. Finally we found the multiple live feeds at AOL Music (where you can now watch rebroadcasts, albeit in linear fashion by venue) and were able to watch what we wanted unmolested by brainless fools.

The only drawback was the stream wouldn't really support watching at a higher screen res than default, and whenever we attempted to turn the volume up, the screen went white and wouldn't re-load until we clicked over to another city's stream. But no matter, Live 8 if anything was a victory AOL Music, which historically has been a non-entity with few good ideas and little compelling content. Too bad for MTV -- all they needed to do was let the goddamn cameras run, just as they did 20 years ago. But apparently that was too much for them. Anyway, the only way Live 8 as a musical event can be salvaged is if all the performances are made available in some sort of DVD or on-demand fashion.

Pete Townshend is an incredible guitarist. We don't think this is fully apparent on The Who's studio recordings. His live work we've seen in various telecasts over the last five years has been mind-bending. Tinnitus seems worth it, Pete.

Elsewhere: Sleater-Kinney played on Letterman early this week and their performance was electrifying. Really, really powerful.

Finally: Pitchfork reported last week that the recently opened German techno label Kompakt's MP3 shop as already sold 100,000 tracks. That's pretty amazing.

That is all.

June 29, 2005

"And could you draw us with some picture-perfect friends?" - Say Hi To Your Mom.

Things are pretty slow right now. In lieu of actual content tonight we'll just share our forthcoming schedule: Due to various weddings and vacations, Clicky Clicky will be off-line from the 8th to the 18th of July. During which time we will not be seeing Dinosaur Jr., or attending Pfork's Intonation festival, or a number of other things. Instead we'll be sitting on a beach and drinking beer and reading and listening to music for most of that time. There'll probably be a few more posts in the coming week, but let's not expect any miracles.

Cleaning out the Inbox, then:

You may not know that The Postman, a.k.a. the one-time Kam Fong bassist Ryan Widger, is a talented photographer. He has a new Internet Home Page here. Dig it. We think we'll post a picture of Widger rocking out some 9 years ago in a few minutes. So check back.

That is all.

Hit Self Destruct: The Postman with Kam Fong, Spring 1996. Posted by Hello

June 28, 2005

"I've been home, I've been out, something's kept it from its rout." - Superchunk.

Tiny Mix Tapes
has a surprisingly lucid and intelligent wrap on what the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc., et al. v. Grokster, Ltd., et al. decision means. Worth reading, with some pretty good context and analysis. As predicted, Coolfer wraps up the decision with pizzazz here, and links to Mark Cuban's blog where the man who made a gajillion zillion American dollars selling to Yahoo makes a very, very interesting and under-reported observation about the importance of the decision to the financial markets: "Not one buyer or seller of stocks gave a damn."


Bono Vox sues stylist
. Article provides useful metric for many reasons why the corporate rock and roll business is lame.

Nike apologizes for ripping off Ian Mackaye, but does not apologize for using sweatshop labor to pad its margins, engorge profits and make the rich richer. Way to go, Nike. You rule. On the bright side, the whole affair spurred what many are calling the best ILM thread in years:

"Photoshop/MS Paint Nike and other evil corporations ruining famous album covers."

Related threads:

"[L]ist other Dischord bands/slogans that can be appropriated for advertising purposes."

"Nike Apologizes to Minor Threat; Announces Replacement Campaign, 'In on the Thrill-Maker'"

That is all.

June 27, 2005

The night winds down at Silk City Diner, August 2003. The eyes are always the first to go. Posted by Hello
"I'm never ready to go." - Ryan Adams.

OK, we're all caught up. Look for our review of the recently released Say Hi To Your Mom record and Ghostly International's Spectral Sound Vol. 1 compilation (click the link -- the site is kinda nifty), which streets tomorrow, to be published between the pages of in the coming weeks. While you're at it, why not check out the page where we've archived all the links to all the reviews we've written in the last three years or so.

The Grokster decision came down today, in case you live under a rock. Plenty of other places will wrap up the details for you, we'd suggest Googling it or hitting Coolfer, which will likely do a wrap on coverage soon. We'd just like to stress to all the paranoid stoners and giddy teens out there that there is a difference between "can be found liable" and "is liable."

Follow Up:
A very solid source wrote in to say that our back-of-the-envelop figuring on how the spoils of a digital music file sale are divided, particularly with respects to indie labels that use the services of IODA, were pretty off. When we learn more we'll pass on what we can. Our interest in this is basically a vestige of our time logged workin at The 'Noize, but that interest hasn't really waned. The sign says "Will Write For Money." Well, that's what the sign would say if we had a sign.

That is all.

June 23, 2005

"Yeah, hi Howard I'm back, and the other kids quit." - Small Factory.

We're offline from now until we can get caught up on our CD reviews. We need another rainy weekend to really get in a groove, but since that doesn't appear to be in the cards, we'll just have to work extra hard to get back on the stick. Four more discs came through the door today, making the pile pile still higher.

Not that we'll leave you empty-handed:

We've always loved Wayne Rosso for making the unequivocally provocative statement, and it is nice he's still keeping the "digital music space" interesting. Speaking in regards to Mashboxx, a P2P service he has gotten behind, Rosso goes straight to the heart of the matter: "It's highly unlikely that any Mashboxx user is going to be sued." The Grokster decision is expected soon, so expect to see many more Rosso quotes when the decision is issued.

That is all.

June 22, 2005

"Your stockings had barely reached your knee before I knew..." - Karl Hendricks Trio.

Just a couple quick ones tonight:

Again, more interesting numbers, this time from Tiny Mix Tapes. While the figure isn't sourced at all, we have no reason to disbelieve TMT's claim that currently ITunes "in the U.S returns 60% of its revenue back to the major labels, but only 50% to the indies." That makes the slices of pie we mentally figured in our IODA discussion last month or the month before that much smaller for indie bands and labels the digital music provider works with -- through not fault of IODA, of course.

[Brief Aside: TMT also mentions a band in another post with a name we've been sitting on ever since reading and loving the Haruki Murakami book that inspired it about 8 years ago: The Wind-Up Birds. Oh well. We probably don't have too many more bands in us at this point anyway.]

So say a digital download costs an even dollar. Apparently 50 cents of that goes back to the indie label (60 cents if you are a major). Then we know from one of our friendly label heads that IODA takes 15%, of course we don't know whether that is 15% of the gross song price or 15% of the label's take. But we assume it is the latter. So then IODA gets 7.5 cents for the sale. Seems like a nice fair piece of the pie, and well worth it according to our source. Now would someone hurry up and get the Simple Machines catalog online for crying out loud!

SVC has a really great post that casts J Mascis and Kevin Shields as Highlander-type superheroes. Includes a hysterical mock-up of Mascis as a (or The? I don't remember how the mythos went in that movie any more) Highlander.

That is all.

June 21, 2005

"Cutting like the smoke through your teeth as you are telling me forget it." - Okkervil River.

We received our copy of the Judge discography over the weekend. Liner notes written by New York hardcore mainstay guitarist Porcell point out something interesting. Judge was conceived wholesale as a backlash to the death of first- or second-wave straightedge as a lifestyle. Many, likely most, adherents to the scene grew older and broke with the straightedge's strict anti-drinking and anti-drug stance. This left Mike Judge disillusioned and hurt and, most of all, PISSED. Hence his band's music was extra heavy and angry. Since we just became aware the scene still existed as a going enterprise at the time of Bringin' It Down's release (we had thought it had died with bands like Uniform Choice in the mid-'80s), we didn't really get that Bringin' It Down was a reactionary, almost conservative statement of values, albeit expressed with the force of repeated kidney punches.

Billy Corgan has opened up in recent interviews and discussed how he did a lot of soul searching over the last several years and came to the realization he needed to re-learn what made him happy as a younger man. A similar sentiment is expressed in the most revealing moment from the Judge catalog, in a lyric snippet from our favorite Judge jam, "Like You." Have a listen and keep an ear out for Mike's reflection: "Now I'm trying to find the things I fought to hide when I was young."

Judge - "Like You" (Bringin' It Down version)

Of course, today's big news: Corgan can't be very confident in his just released solo effort. According to this article he took out ads in Chicago papers announcing he would reform Smashing Pumpkins, a somewhat puzzling move. No word on which members will be on board, but it seems likely only Jimmy Chamberlain will make the cut, as we think Corgan doesn't have the best of relationships with D'Arcy and Iha any longer. It is interesting that Mellon Collie is the band's biggest seller, even with it being a double album. We'd think that Siamese Dream would lap it easily. Stereogum has some of the text of the ad Corgan took out to impart his little secret. ILM, of course, has the whole text and saucy discussion to boot.

That is all.

June 20, 2005

"This is for the guys who go one two three four five six seven eight nine." Hockey Night.

Just a link dump tonight, as we had to entertain the tile guy and the city property assessment lady earlier this evening:

Stereogum discusses last week's Hit Me Baby One More Time, which we missed, and lists this week's contestants. Needless to say that this week we are pulling for the very underappreciated Greg Kihn (C'mon, "Breakup Song," "Jeopardy" -- pure genius), although we'll be interested to hear whether White Tiger pulls out "Wait" or "When the Children Cry." Note to higher power: Please don't let them play "When the Children Cry."

Coolfer again relays some interesting stats: According to UMG digital music czar Larry Kenswil, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, "almost 90 songs had sold more than 100,000 copies through online stores this year."

Bob Mould points to news links marking the loss of Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller, who succumbed to throat cancer Friday.

Chromewaves points us to info about the forthcoming Broken Social Scene record, which is slated to drop October 4. Start anticipating now.

The Mobius Band
's first proper full-length after four or five years of Eps will finally see release August 9th. You can see the cover art and track listing here.

That is all.

June 19, 2005

"What's my protection if I give up my fists?" -Judge

And we're back. Some follow-up to last week's discussion: Like Forrest Gump, BrighAAAAm describes a brush with almost-greatness from his epic road trip in the '80s:

...When I was in Albuquerque, my pals and I ended
up at a hardcore show at one of the local high schools
late one afternoon. Op Ivy showed up in an old green
Chrysler Something-or-Other with a big box strapped to
the top holding their gear.

As they were loading in, someone mentioned that they
were short an amp, or that they had blown one out or
something. My [buddies] schlepped
back to our pad to get [an] amp, and showed up a
while later only to find out that the band didn't need
it for some reason, probably because they got one from
one of the other bands.

I find it funny that they found some measure of
success, and that some of them dudes went on to form
Rancid, 'cause back in '88 in New Mexico they were
barely holding their [stuff] together it seemed.

Much like us, Mountain Goats dude and LPTJ shopkeep John Darnielle also loves/hates Hit Me Baby One More Time, and talks about Week #2's events here. Dig it. Even ILM is going nuts for the show. FYI, the best Mountain Goats song is "Cubs In Five."

IODA, which we discussed previously here and here, has just announced a service targeted at traditional retailers that will let them sell digital downloads. Not the first time someone has offered this, and certainly it won't be the last, but IODA has made inroads with some of our favorite indie labels and gotten their music online, so we pay attention. An old name is attached to IODA -- looks like Jill Mango (former MPRM? Or was she with Girlie Action?) has her own shop now is doing IODA's press.

That is all.

June 15, 2005

"Your third drink will lead you astray." - The Silver Jews.

reveals to us that under-rated Philly indie poppers Mazarin release their third record in August on a New York-based indie we've never heard of called I And Ear Records. The I And Ears site notes that the record features guest spots by our favorite Kurt Heasley, the guy who basically is The Lilys, as well as journeyman Don Devore and one of the dudes from The Walkmen (the picture of The Walkmen gracing its home page appears to depict the band in its recent performance in Harvard Square, FYI). We predict a lot of buzz about this when fall rolls around. Which reminds us we need to figure out if that Hisoft record ever came out.

We don't know how long it will be up, but you can watch a refreshingly spare and restrained version of "The Figurehead" performed live by the newly down-sized The Cure here. We think that the group's return to a three-piece might be the best thing that has happened to the band in 13 years. Link via The 'Nac.

Here’s something very cool: Bloc Party's Thursday night show in DC is getting broadcast live by NPR. Unfortunately, Thursday night is also the start of a long weekend with houseguests, so we won't be able to listen. But anyone who wants to catch the stream and parse it and post it for us somewhere, or deliver it to us on a shiny five-inch circular platter will earn much gratitude. Though we suspect NPR will archive the show. So maybe you should just sit around and drink beer instead. Thanks to LHB for the link.

Pitchfork has an item today about a copyright infringement suit brought against the Beastie Boys. Just imagine how screwed they would be if they had to go back and license all the samples for Paul's Boutique, perhaps the best record of the 1980s.

The ever smart Coolfer notes how Michael Jackson's Thriller record shot from Amazon's #8,436 top seller to its #358 top seller in the hours following the big verdict. People are weird.

That is all.

June 14, 2005

"I get the sense this is never gonna end." - The Texas Governor.

Understandably, at press time this afternoon, Pink Floyd, its most well known members, and Bob Geldof held the top five spots on the Yahoo Buzz Index for Music Movers, which basically is a list of the most-increased hit count for various Yahoo search terms. Curiously, the absolutely stellar original ska-punkers Operation Ivy were checking in at #9 today. We'll have to keep an eye on the Interwebs to figure out why that is.

There is some lame mention of the band at this article about an Alternative Press party, but that can't be it. Perhaps it is just the return of summer, which often makes us think of pumping Energy in the WPRS Jeep back in the day. Interesting note about Op Ivy -- they broke up following heavy major label interest from EMI. How would the whole Op Ivy legend have been different had they stayed together and signed? Hard to say, but everyone should have a copy of Energy for summertime beer drinkin.'

The Buddyhead MP3 blog has started doing this bit called Music 101, which is pretty similar to what the StyPod does in some respects. The idea is that they get people of some distinction (at least among the Buddyhead crowd) to wax nostalgic over what they believe to be crucial recordings. So here is John Stanier's entry; he apparently is in that rock act Battles. Here is some other guy's picks, he seems like he is in a metal band or something -- we like his list because it includes Slim Gaillard, who made the chillingist proto-rock with a pop swing in the late '30s and '40s. Finally, the inaugural post was made by a dude in the Buddyhead-signed Burning Brides, who we believe have some connection to Philly. Oh wait, there is one more list from a guy who has played with Jesus Lizard and Tomahawk, looks like that was the inaugural list. Anyway, doooo check it out.

The Music Cherry blog perpetuates comparisons between Slow Dazzle and Mazzy Star that we think are a little tenuous, but maybe our ear is unable to hear past the Slow Dazzle principals' past to hear the similarity. But regardless, Slow Dazzle is building some well-deserved buzz.

More CD copy protection bullshit from Sony BMG. Link via Coolfer.

That is all.

June 13, 2005

"Hear Me. I'm Calling Out." - Burn.


Revelation 22, the BURN EP, contains the heaviest New York hardcore song ever recorded. We received a CD copy to replace our cassette dub this morning. We literally trembled with anticipation as we cued it up to track three, "Drown." The song is amazing, with singular singer Chaka in full-on aggro mode. We don't remember the vocals being mixed so high, but with headphones on the guitars come into proper perspective. The real mystery of the release is why "Drown" isn't sequenced first, although the song no longer seems head and shoulders above the rest of the EP, as it did when we turned on to it in '92 or so.

Another striking thing: heard in context, the music on this EP seems almost disappointingly similar to the stuff on Judge's Bringing It Down [Revelation 15]. Just listen to the beginning of "Drown" and the beginning of Judge's "The Storm" if you don't beleive it. Of course, the bands were both working the New York hardcore scene at the same time, and Don Fury produced the sessions for each recording. So the instruments even sound the same. Still, Burn's willingness to dial back the metal in the breakdown of "Godhead," for example; to explore more complex emotional and even spiritual material; and Chaka's commanding voice all make this EP substantially smarter than the tough-guy rock on Judge's record.

In related news, the Judge discography What It Meant streets on the 21st [scroll down] of this month. We pre-ordered ours and look forward to its arrival. At the same link you will see that there is now a date attached to the BOLD discography The Search 1985-1989: July 12. We'll probably end up pre-ordering that one, but we'll try to stave off the urge to consume a little while longer. For now, why not enjoy some rock?

Burn - "Drown."

That is all.