August 31, 2006

hellooooooo. Noise For Toaster here.

what up people? this is shan from Noise For Toaster, and i'm here for a little sumpin'-sumpin' and a little guest posting action. yep. forgive the repost, but i found these guys the other day and i can't get enough of what i've heard...

thanks guys, for checking the wonderfulness that occurs multiple times daily here at Clicky Clicky (love all the double colons, classy stuff Jay has going on here). i think the concept of having guest posters is so much fun. it's like going into your yearbook after it's been passed around and seeing all of the really lame things everyone wrote about you, knowing that what you wrote was just infinitely better. sorry, Jay, i'm one of those "hopefully i'll see you over the summer lolz" ones today.

insert perfect quip here,

snakes on a shan

Colour Revolt - Mattresses Underwater
track review

emails skate by me unopened, unchecked, "marked as read" and i move on. it's just the way it goes; it has to be, or i'd be swimming in writing, constant writing, and i can't do that and live at the same time. no one can truly balance the application of paint to a canvas with fingers on a laptop keyboard; i don't work in a cubicle, on a computer, nor do i own a sidekick or a blackberry. with these factors i am at an automatic detriment to the quantity of posts i am able to make.

but this morning i clicked, for no reason, on the myspace link of a band with a silly name - bad rock, i supposed, or emo in disguise (i'm still waiting for this latter suspicion to be true). but that wasn't what i was met with at all. gentle piano (albeit lo-fi) tinkers and waves calmly, leading the way, enter vocals then drums. a pretty falsetto able to turn from melancholically light to downright frustrated, an angry uprise. just under two mintues, add strings? you're kidding! a raw version of the sonorous Americana in Band of Horses with vocals like that of Tapes 'n Tapes leaning against a tinny and outright guitar. good indie rock, soaring folky pop.

i loved the track, enough to be jumpy in my english and cry out on a Saturday (reminder: in the middle of New Hampshire) to say to you - hear this track. i think you'll be sold on buying their upcoming debut self-titled EP (on Esperanza Plantation).

::::love them with me: Colour Revolt - Mattresses Underwater

order the EP from the 'Camp, and check their myspace for very useful info (linked above) like tour dates and contact info.

August 30, 2006

Guest Post Pants Party: X Marks the Spot

It's becoming old hat these days to get the old band back together. So many acts have done it with varying degrees of success in the last few years, but some of the more notable include the Pixies, Mission of Burma, and Gang of Four. One less-heralded reunion tour that made its way through the nation recently was the original lineup of LA punk legends X joined by the mid-90s version of the Rollins Band. The last show of the tour is tonight in Austin.

Rollins did a lot of interviews to hype the tour, but there wasn't much hype about X heading out with Billy Zoom back on guitar to join singer Exene Cervenka, singer-bassist John Doe and drummer DJ Bonebreak. I caught them at an early show at Avalon in Boston a few weeks back, really with the intention of seeing the Rollins Band, but I was bowled over by how kick-ass X sounded. Twenty years after their heyday, the band sounded terrific, ripping through some of their classics like Unheard Music, We're Desperate and Johnny Hit and Run Pauline. Not being as familiar as I should have been with much of their catalog, I was blown away at the sheer energy of the band.

It's unclear whether X plans to go back into the studio and record new material, but they certainly still click as a band. In the meantime, we've always got YouTube.

Here's a recent visit the band made to the kids show Pancake Mountain:

And here's a cool clip of an appearance the band made back in '83 on Late Night With David Letterman:

August 29, 2006

Review: Muse | Black Holes And Revelations

Muse -- Black Holes And RevelationsMuse is one of those bands that’s huge overseas and yet relatively unknown Stateside until recently. Black Holes And Revelations appears to be changing that perception, making a solid U.S. debut at number nine on the Billboard top 200 after it was released on July 11.

The British trio isn’t afraid to wear its influences on its proverbial sleeve, skipping stylistically from the ELP-esque space rock of “Knights of Cydonia” to the Prince-ly funk of “Supermassive Black Hole” with seeming ease. Singer-guitarist Matthew Bellamy has no problem leading the band (bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard) from synth-driven uptempo numbers like “Map of the Problematique” to the delicate, multilayered vocals of “Soldier’s Poem.” Muse brings a harder-rocking sound to “Assassin” and “Exo-Politics,” veers off with Spanish guitar and horns on “City of Delusion” and the melodramatic “Hoodoo” and introduces classical themes on “Take a Bow.”

The band has been dogged with Radiohead comparisons throughout its career, and Bellamy works the Yorke-y vocals on the bombastic “Invincible” with mixed results, but it would be too easy to dismiss Muse as just another band trying to ape OK Computer. Queen might be a more apt comparison for Muse’s shapeshifting abilities, both from the variety of styles they take on, the multitracked vocals, and the kitchen-sink instrumentation exhibited throughout Black Holes And Revelations. Lyrically, the band takes an anti-war stance in several of the songs on this album, singling out unnamed heads of state (uh, who could they be?) for leading their nations into war. All told, on its sixth record Muse cooks up an interesting and unabashed prog-rockin’ stew. The band embarks on a U.S. tour Sept. 10. -- Jay Kumar

Muse | Web site
Muse | MySpace

[Buy Black Holes And Revelations from Insound here]

August 28, 2006

Today's Hotness: Karl Hendricks Trio, Blonde Redhead

Karl Hendricks Trio>> According to some recent commentary on Jon Solomon's fine radio show broadcast on WPRB Princeton, which you can stream here Wednesday nights, there will be a new Karl Hendricks Trio record out next year. We don't have any other details except that Mr. Hendricks will release the record himself. Hendricks, incidentally, was putting out indie rock records when many of you were probably still running around in short pants. The band's most recent record, The Jerks Win Again, was released by Merge in 2003. Here's the Merge biography, which is pretty thorough.

>> Billboard has the track listing for the soundtrack to the forthcoming documentary "American Hardcore," which we've discussed here and here previously. Rhino will issue the set via digital storefronts Sept. 26; discs will be in store Oct. 10. More info and the track listing, which includes cuts from Black Flag, Bad Brains and SS Decontrol, is at this link.

>> BrooklynVegan here points to information about a forthcoming record from Blonde Redhead. The still-untitled set will be issued by 4AD and hit racks sometime next year. The band's last release was 2004's Misery Is A Butterfly, which was also issued by 4AD.

Review: Shearwater | Palo Santo [MP3s]

Shearwater -- Palo Santo[When a record release falls through the cracks, and the set is sent to us months after the fact, sometimes our man Jay Kumar picks it up for a feature we call Back in Bl-- actually, we don't call it anything. Here is the first of two new reviews from Mr. Kumar -- Ed.]

Originally a collaboration between Okkervil River members Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff, Shearwater is now exclusively a vehicle for Meiburg. On the atmospheric Palo Santo, singer and multi-instrumentalist Meiburg steps out into the spotlight with some hauntingly beautiful vocal turns and melodies that recall Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

Meiburg and his band -— Kim Burke on bass, drummer Thor Harris, multi-instrumentalist Howard Draper -— proffer spare instrumentation and varied sounds throughout, from the quiet, yearning title track to the fuzzy riffed “White Waves” to the piano-fueled “Seventy Four, Seventy Five.” Tempo and dynamics play a key role on this album, with “Failed Queen” and “La Dame et la Licorne” providing prime showcases for Meiburg’s soaring vocals. This isn’t dumb fun, good-time rock like the Eagles Of Death Metal (not that there’s anything wrong with that); Shearwater plumbs territory that's often introspective and downbeat, and yet uplifting at times.

Palo Santo benefits from repeated spins, as the listener finds something rewardingly different each time. Much like a John Irving novel or an episode of HBO’s “Deadwood,” this record offers a dense, satisfying, slow-burning experience. Get it, throw on some headphones and listen early and often. If you like your indie rock with some depth to it, you won’t be disappointed. Palo Santo was released on Misra May 9. -- Jay Kumar

Shearwater -- "Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five" -- Palo Santo
Shearwater -- "White Waves" -- Palo Santo
[right click and save as]

[Order Palo Santo from Insound here]

Free Range Music: Helms' "It Takes Skin To Win" [MP3]

HelmsWe first encountered Boston-based act Helms and this track when reviewing the trio's angular and hypnotic set McCarthy four years ago [review]. The song has stuck with us for a number of reasons, and we dug out a mix CD (we know, how quaint) last week that prominently features "It Takes Skin To Win" and rediscovered its wonders all over again. The song is constructed out of quietly hammered-on guitar, patient bass and murmured, post-apocalyptic vocals about, it seems, a shipwrecked rock band: "...and they pulled their amplifiers from the ocean/soaked through and caked with sand..."

The part of the song that gets us jazzed everytime we play it occurs about 2:30 into the song during the extended bridge. Here the guitar continues its pulsing in-and-out in 4/4 time, but the bass hits a pedal and starts a countermelody in 3/4. The drums kick up sparks amid the weaving guitar and bass and the composition steers straight into the horizon and fades. It's pretty spectacular. Fortunately for you, you can download "It Takes Skin To Win" from Helms' MySpace page. We've saved you the trip and have linked to the file below. Helms released its third full length Secret Doors on its own label, Plants & Brains, Aug. 5. [Incidentally, we hope one day that our greyhound Ollie gets to meet their greyhound.]

Helms -- "It Takes Skin To Win" -- McCarthy
[just click]

Helms | Web site
Helms | MySpace

August 27, 2006

Free Range Music: Clark/Broadcast's "Herr Barr..." [MP3]

ClarkLanguishing in our inbox for much of the last week is an email from Warp reporting that IDM luminary Clark, formerly known as Chris Clark, is offering free MP3s at this site to promote the release of his forthcoming set Body Riddle. The first MP3 is already up -- it's an improvised collaboration with labelmate Broadcast that reimagines "Herr Barr," the opening cut to Clark's Throttle Furniture EP, which Warp released in March. The improvised version is substantially spookier and sounds fairly deconstructed compared to the original. Hit the link below to download the cut and hear for yourself. Clark will post two additional tracks to the site between now and the release of Body Riddle Oct. 2.

Clark/Broadcast -- "Herr Barr (Reinterpretation/Improvisation)" -- Throttleclark Exclusives
[right click and save as]

Clark | MySpace

Show Us Yours #3: Relay

Relay -- Philadelphia, PA -- Show Us Yours #3As best as we can remember, we discovered Philadelphia-based shoegaze act Relay as we have discovered several other superlative bands in the last year or so, via listening to the also Philadelphia-based Why Me? podcast (it might have been this episode, it might have been a different one). When we saw that the band had signed to stalwart indie label Bubble Core Records earlier this year, we knew that it would be going places and decided to check in. Bubble Core recently issued the quartet's Type/Void EP and on Oct. 3 it will release the band's full length Still Point Of Turning. We put our familiar battery of questions regarding all things practice space to Relay principal Jeff Ziegler (who, incidentally for our Boston readers, once lived in JP and attended Suffolk University). Below he obliges us with nice details about the space, which is situated near the City of Brotherly Love's Chinatown section, as well as tales of loudness and burning hair.

1. Why did you choose this space?

Well, this space was sort of a lucky break, as it's really the downstairs of the rather large apartment that myself and our keyboard player, Mikele, live in. I have a need for recording studio space, as well as practice space, and my landlord was selling our old apartment/studio in the increasingly annoying Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia, and he suggested we check this building out. We were blown away by its size and unique layout. It works out really well, in that there's the practice space, which also doubles as a tracking room for our studio, a middle foyer area, and then a separate control room, all of which take up about 900 square feet. Then upstairs you've got 2 bedrooms, a big open kitchen/living room area, and a "repair shop" of sorts, used by the building's other resident, Mike Pecchio, a recording engineer (Holopaw, An Albatross) and ex-Neve repair tech. So, it's great in that it totally integrates making music in to our daily lives. I can't imagine not living adjacent to my recording and practice area, really. I've been doing it for the last 8 years.

2. Explain how an idiosyncracy or quirk of this space or a former practice space has affected a song, or even your overall sound.

Well, we're a pretty loud band, and since our practice space has rather high tin ceilings that amplify the sound and wash everything out, I think we've gradually become more comfortable turning down a bit so we can hear what's going on little better. We're still far from quiet, but I think it's been more of a battle to play loud and comfortably in this space than it was in our previous one, and it's probably to everyone's benefit that we've chilled out a bit.

3. You walk into your space. What's the first thing you smell? Why?

The faint odor of burnt hair -- our only neighbor is a hair salon...

4. You've got an upcoming full length coming out on Bubble Core, whose The 1st Bubble Core Records Sampler is among our favorite label comps. Is there a Bubble Core act that you guys have a particular affinity for?

Mice Parade and The Swirlies are some personal favorites, although
we're big fans of everyone on the roster.

5. What do the next six months look like for your band?

We have a full length coming out on Bubble Core in October, and will be doing a lot of touring to support both the LP and the Type/Void EP [which appears to have been engineered in part by Mazarin's Quentin Stoltzfus -- Ed.] that's already out. Other than that... probably a lot of writing, recording, refining and working. We all have other musical projects that we're involved in besides Relay, and those will be getting some attention as time permits.

Download "Context," from Relay's Still Point Of Turning.
[right click and save as]

Relay | Web page
Relay | MySpace

[Read Show Us Yours #1: Shapes And Sizes here]
[Read Show Us Yours #2: Dirty On Purpose here]
[Order Relay's Type/Void EP here]

August 26, 2006

Going Places: Good Morning

Good morning Boston Globe readers. And Pet Sounds blog readers [link]. For those who don't read the newspaper anymore, we were in it today [feature here] alongside some of our better-known Boston blogger brethren. You've arrived just in time to see us post for a couple more days and then go on vacation through Labor Day. But fret not, :: clicky clicky :: will not be entirely idle in our absence. Our trusty cohort KoomDogg and our new acquaintance Shan/Noise For Toaster will make a post each while we are gone. Before our departure Tuesday we've got our usual mix of news, release information, and links to music slated to go online. In addition, the long-awaited third installment of our feature Show Us Yours is about ready to post. Featured this go-'round is rising Philadelphia shoegaze act Relay. Anyhow, welcome, and make yourselves comfortable.

August 25, 2006

Today's Hotness: Pernice Brothers, Icy Demons, Say Hi To Your Mom

The Pernice Brothers -- Live A Little Bonus Disc>> The latest update from Joe Pernice and his Pernice Brothers brings news of an attractive pre-order proposition for the band's forthcoming sixth record. Fans who pre-order Live A Little directly from Ashmont Records will receive a bonus CD containing 17 tracks including demo versions of every song on the record as well as "weirdo alternate mixes of songs that Joe and Mike Deming thought sounded good really late at night in the studio after a long day of repeated listenings to one line of one song in search of nirvana." Each bonus CD comes in a paper sleeve signed by Mr. Pernice himself. No promo copies of the bonus disc will be distributed -- if you music journos out there want the extra goodies, pony up. The deal is good through Sept. 22. As entertaining as the record is the email update, and we highly recommend signing up for the Pernice Brothers' funny and self-effacing emails -- they are the best emails we get, hands down. For more wildly entertaining writing, check out the blog on the newly redesigned Pernice Brothers site here. The very first entry went up today; apparently Joe became a dad three weeks ago. You can also stream a couple Pernice Brothers albums at the new site. Cool.

>> Word came across the teletype this afternoon that the release dates of Icy Demons' Tears Of A Clone and A Cloud Mireya's Singular have been pushed back. The sets, which we've reviewed here and here respectively, will still be released on Scott Herren's Eastern Developments label, but they will now hit racks Oct. 31 instead of next month. The reason for the delay, according to a person in the know, is that Eastern Developments has recently entered into a distribution deal with Caroline, and getting the records properly situated in the Caroline pipeline will take that extra bit of time.

>> Tripwire here informs us that indie pop mopers Say Hi To Your Mom are seeking a female singer to round out its sound. The band, which just got back from touring its recent release Impeccable Blahs, hopes to have the new singer on board for a five-week national tour that starts in October. More details and a few MP3s at the link above.

>> Billboard has details of two forthcoming Pinback CDs, one a compilation and the other an all new set due in 2007, here.

>> Finally, an update on the non-existent pre-release album stream of the TV On The Radio record that we first wrote about last night. As of tonight there is still no stream in our digital locker. Based on our hitlogs it appears that overseas customer service folks in India and Ireland reviewed the complaint we sent last night. While they did get our digital locker populated with a lot of pictures of our recent Amazon purchases, that was about all they accomplished. At 6:30PM this evening we received an email stating in part "I'm sorry, but we will need to research this situation further. We will write back to you with an answer within the next 3-5 business days." How does this equate to being able to instantly access the stream upon purchase as promised by the band and Amazon? It doesn't. The email included a link where we could express ourselves, so we did. We'll let you know when we finally get to hear some rock out of this deal. Has anybody else run into this problem? If so, hit the comments.

August 24, 2006

Today's Hotness: Spinto Band, Damsel, The Shins, Bloc Party

The Spinto Band>> NME reports that an unknown jerk or jerks made off with Del.-based sextet Spinto Band's prized mandolin, which features prominently on the band's transcendent single "Oh Mandy." The theft occured last night in Manchester, England, where the band was playing the venue Academy 3. The instrument was apparently lifted right off the stage by the perps. More details here.

>> IndieWorkshop tells us that guitar savant Nels Cline, probably best known as a recent Wilco sideman, has formed a new musical concern with insanely talented Hella drummer Zach Hill. The new act is called Damsel and it also includes Hella's touring bassist and one of Wilco's live sound engineers. Damsel will release a four-track album on Temporary Residence this fall called Distressed. Further info here.

>> If you missed the big Shins update at Billboard today, and the widespread bloggery it spawned this afternoon, you can read the whole shebang for yourself right here.

>> Another widely reported story today was that exciting Brit post-punkers Bloc Party will support the act Panic! At The Disco, whom we have never heard, on a forthcoming fall tour. BrooklynVegan has the full tour dates here. On a related note, we noticed this afternoon that a new demo of a forthcoming Bloc Party track has made its way onto at least one blog out there. Why not look for it on Hype Machine?

Today's Not-Hotness: Amazon Botches TVOTR Album Stream Offer

TV On The Radio -- Return To Cookie MountainOr so it would seem. According to a MySpace message from the band, if you pre-order TV On The Radio's excellent Return To Cookie Mountain from you can immediately access a stream of the record. So of course we did it (incidentally, Amazon is selling the record for $10.99). The page for the record states: "Order Return to Cookie Mountain (with Bonus Tracks) now and receive immediate access to the following in Your Media Library: An audio stream of the album." If you've been keeping track of Amazon's relatively under-the-radar Your Digital Locker service (and who hasn't, right?), you will notice that it has been rechristened Your Media Library when you go to access the album stream. This is likely related to Amazon's future digital media strategy, which probably will prominently feature video content. But enough about that. What we noticed first when we got to our Media Library was that the album stream wasn't there. What? Where is our instant gratification?

We found a page titled "Bonus Content Promotion" that explained the stream would only be available through Oct. 1, and that the offer to get the stream with the album purchase runs from Aug. 7 to Sept. 24. Fine. But where is the stream? We checked the main page for the album again: no dice. We logged off and then logged back on. We even manually added the album to our Media Library. Nada. So Dear Amazon: you owe us the warm, fuzzy feeling of instant gratification. We certainly wouldn't have pre-ordered without the enticement of the album stream, because we know our friendly neighborhood Newbury Comics record shoppe would be cutting us a good deal come September. Oh well. Anyway, check out the track listing for the record, which streets Sept. 12, at Stereogum here or Amazon here.

August 23, 2006

Review: The Beach Boys | Pet Sounds [40th Anniversary Reissue]

The Beach Boys -- Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary ReissueThe Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, originally released in 1966, holds an unassailable position in popular culture. That's what happens when your record is a substantial volley in what amounts to a musical arms race between your band and The Beatles. Besides the Beatles-related notoriety, Pet Sounds also benefits from its sheer existence, unlike the resuscitated "lost" album Smile, the recently released, official Brian Wilson version of which is not only revelatory but also hamstrung by not fulfilling the boundless universe of possibilities the actualization of a legendary unreleased record necessarily dispels. That sentence was a long way of saying that once Smile was finally defined as one thing with Nonesuch's 2004 release, it could no longer be everything else.

The Beach Boys' influence is more than sufficiently documented, and even in the realm of indie rock one regularly encounters familiar, beachy sounds on records from bands as wide-ranging as Kelpie and even Wilco. Because it is a four-decade milestone being noted here, and because we don't pretend that we will make the definitive statement about such a thoroughly examined record as Pet Sounds, we'll provide instead our own chronological context. We were born eight years after the seminal set was released. And it was probably about 20 years after the record was issued that we finally heard it end-to-end. Our initial impression was that the music was just too pop and too innocent to suit our tastes. We recall thinking something along the lines of "Don't those harmonies sound like the Andrews Sisters?" and "Where are the guitars?" ("Oh, yeah, the title track"). It was probably another eight or 10 years before we developed some decent listening skills and ascertained that the record was filled with amazing, well, sounds. As we got deeper into the album we began to develop some favorites, particularly "That's Not Me."

Never having owned Pet Sounds on CD, listening to the hi-fi, stereo version on this reissue's DVD is particularly gratifying, as everything is rendered in ultra-lush aural color and shape. Watching Brian Wilson and Sir George Martin execute live mixes of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows" on the DVD throws back the curtain on the minute compositional details of Beach Boys' songs; Al Jardine jokes that he and Carl Wilson were never sure of some of the vocals because the song was recorded and re-recorded for periods of weeks and perhaps even months. Such context is what makes this reissue invaluable. The CD comes with mono and stereo versions of the album, and the DVD comes with hi-fi and 5.1 mixes and a lot of video content, as noted supra. The set also comes in a limited vinyl issue, but you'll have to be a real go-getter to snatch one of those up. There is an ongoing series of podcasts and tons of additional information at, but there are no advance MP3s (like you've never heard this stuff before...). Capitol issues Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary reissue Aug. 29.

August 22, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: Dirty On Purpose's "No Radio"

We don't often go in for the silly when listening to the indie rock, but there is something very endearing about Brooklyn quartet Dirty on Purpose's '80s-tastic, Olivia Newton-John-inspired new video for their tune "No Radio." Maybe it's the headbands, maybe it's the sombreros, maybe it's the Flying V, maybe it's the Steinberger bass, maybe it is the brass section -- it's probably a combination of all of these. Dirty On Purpose released its debut full-length Hallelujah Sirens on North Street earlier this summer. We reviewed the record here, and the band showed us around its practice space here in Show Us Yours #2.

Today's Hotness: Mobius Band, Lemonheads, Miho Hatori

Mobius Band>> If you've been following our writing for a goodly while, you know that we've been jocking Mobius Band for years. We declared them "one to watch" in September 2002, before they had any songs in shoe commercials or anything. Today the Brooklyn-based (via Shutesbury, what!) trio got some high-grade blog love via an exclusive download over at Stereogum. And you know what? The song, a new demo titled "A Hint Of Blood," is really great. As we quipped elsewhere, dare we say it is akin to Three-era Mobius Band: klangy, electri-fried drums, unabashed synths, and other general 21st century rock goodness. "A Hint Of Blood" features a strong vocal from bassist Peter Sax, who has really come into his own as a dual fronter with guitarist Ben Sterling over the last few years. To sum up, we're excited by this new song; you should go to Stereogum and download it here. The Mobius lads also shared a bunch of tour dates today, which we'll post sometime after Labor Day.

>> This just in: speaking of new stuff, head over here to AOL Music's indie blog to download a brand new Lemonheads track, "No Backbone," which features hot guitar lickage from guitar god J. Mascis and will appear on the Lemonheads' eponymous Vagrant release this fall. We're on our first listen right now and we are totally digging it. The song isn't as punk as the record's reported Descendents influence might suggest (it actually sounds a bit more Buffalo Tom-ish), but it is still a real thrill to hear.

>> NME reports today that there will be yet another compilation celebrating/exploiting The Clash in stores soon. This latest package will be a UK box set comprised of 19 CD singles dressed up as versions of the original vinyl releases, sleeve art and all. The collection will also include a number of bonus tracks that have not been released on CD to date. Singles Box, which according to AllMusic data will be the 28th Clash compilation, will hit racks Oct. 30. More details here.

>> PantsFork has confirmation today here that the forthcoming Modest Mouse set will be titled We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Epic will release the record Dec. 19, likely with hopes that indie rockers are slackers who save all their holiday shopping until that relatively late date.

>> Finally, Rykodisc today issued this presser touting a forthcoming solo set from former Cibo Matto principal Miho Hatori. Ms. Hatori's Ecdysis will be released Oct. 24. Predictably, the label states the set is her "strongest and most realized work;" isn't it a bad sign when people start talking about your record like they are talking about, say, a new Heart or Styx record? Actually, we've honestly got pretty high hopes for this, overly earnest press release or not.

August 21, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: TV On The Radio's "Wolf Like Me"

No song is inspiring as much pound-for-pound fist-bangin' mania around ::cc:: headquarters right now as TV On The Radio's "Wolf Like Me," which hit ITunes as a digital single just last week. We were minding our own business earlier this evening poking around YouTubesylvania for clips of the recent Boston TVOTR show when we came upon this, a far superior clip. It's the band doing the aforementioned song at Seattle's Showbox sometime last spring (the clip was posted May 12). The image quality is surprisingly great, but a little shakey. For a hand-held shot from the audience, though, it's pretty darn good, particularly the sound. Dig it.

In Memoriam: Joseph Hill of Culture

Culture -- Two Sevens ClashThis post, while sad, also will keenly illustrate our ignorance of a body of work that certainly deserves better. But the fact is that our life has been far more influenced by punk than reggae. Still don't know what we're talking about? Pollstar here reports that Joseph Hill, the lead singer and songwriter of veteran Jamaican reggae act Culture, has died at age 57. The name of Culture's second single (and fourth full-length) was "Two Sevens Clash," the title of which was the inspiration for the name taken by British punk legends The Clash (we can't remember where we originally read that, but it is confirmed here in a BBC profile and vaguely disputed on page 119 of the amazingly detailed Clash biography "The Clash: Return Of The Last Gang In Town," which we highly recommend).

Culture recorded more than 30 albums since forming in 1976. Hill took ill in Berlin during the group's current European tour and died Saturday, according to the group's web site here; the band plans to finish out its commitments with Hill's son Kenyatta standing in. The web site also states, "Recently, Hill had received a number of honors - including an induction into the Jamaican Reggae Walk of Fame and a 2005 Independence Award presented by the Prime Minister of Jamaica. This year the group continued to draw rave reviews with typically upbeat performances at the 'Bob Marley 61st Birthday Celebration' in Ghana and 'Reggae Sunsplash 2006.'"

Free Range Music: Broadcast, Ratatat, What Made Milwaukee Famous

Ratatat -- Classics>> We don't typically accentuate the negative in Free Range Music, but we were surprised by how we didn't take to Ratatat at all. We've missed the boat on the five-year-old, New York-based duo heretofore, but its sophomore set Classics is one of quite a few interesting releases in AOL Music's pre-release album stream corral this week, so we gave them a listen. With a few exceptions (the album highlight "Kennedy," "Tacobel Canon," the curiously Beatles-ish "Tropicana"), the record struggles to make a distinct first impression. Rhythmically and texturally there doesn't seem to be a lot of depth to the music. And there are just enough rock elements (guitars, piano) to make you wonder where the vocals are. On the upside Ratatat solidly emphasizes melody, which is typically a pleasing approach in our opinion. Even so, Classics sounds more like B-sides to us. Maybe it is a headphones record? We'll have to give it another shot with the cans on to be sure.

AOL's other streams include new sets from Broadcast, Jennifer O'Connor and What Made Milwaukee Famous. With regards to that latter band, we listened to Trying To Never Catch Up this afternoon and are now believers. We had been reading nice things about them for a while, and the band really delivers. Trying To Never Catch Up is a full plate of nice straight indie rock with some synths that sounds perfectly at home on the Barsuk roster. And finally: before we heard Jennifer O'Connor we thought she was going to be a little too country or folksy for us, but we were wrong. If you're thinking something in the neighborhood of Kathleen Edwards, you are in the right ball park. Definitely hit the stream.

Broadcast -- The Future Crayon (B-Sides And Rarities) -- Warp
Jennifer O'Connor -- Over The Mountain, Across The Valley, And Back To The Stars -- Merge
Ratatat -- Classics -- XL
What Made Milwaukee Famous -- Trying To Never Catch Up -- Barsuk

>> Are you hip to Spencer Dickinson? It's a new project with Jon Spencer in it, and the song you can stream here rocks pretty hard.

>> One last thing. Next week EMI will issue a special 40th Anniversary expanded edition of the Beach Boys magum opus Pet Sounds. To promote the record there will be a series of podcasts posted here. Most of the podcasts will deal with specific songs, but the first installment, which goes online tomorrow, is more of an overview.

August 20, 2006

Today's Hotness: The Hold Steady, Built To Spill

The Hold Steady -- Boys And Girls In AmericaJust clearing the decks before a new week is upon us...

>> KoomDogg sends along these official Hold Steady fall tour dates. He also pointed us to the real strong glass of haterade going on in the comments over at the Stereogum item in which the band's new song "Chips Ahoy" is posted. Man, we think the song is great, we think the band is great, and we don't really get people's beef with the band, except for those who just don't dig singer Craig Finn's voice (either the old ranting style or the new, refined rant for 2006).

>> Pitchfork reported last week that indie rock stalwarts Built To Spill have already begun working on a new record, according to their label Warner. This is despite the fact that the band issued a sort-of comeback set only four months ago. More details and an avalanche of fall tour dates here.

Review: Francine | Airshow [MP3]

Francine -- AirshowBoston's Francine has both missed and outlasted that part of the '90s in which it would have had thick company on college airwaves. Or at least that's our opinion based on the seven-year-old indie quintet's recently issued set Airshow, which showcases hooks and moods akin to those of bygone slow-core luminaries including Acetone and Idaho (whose excellent records I Guess I Would and Three Sheets To The Wind respectively we have had on opposing sides of a well-loved cassette for more than 10 years). Anyway, those hooks and moods are set off by singer Clayton Scoble's Cobain-esque tenor -- the likeness is particularly evident on the short shot "Wells" -- resulting in an understated and confident rock record that is as listenable as it is anachronistic.

Technically titled album highlight "Zeroes And Ones" is a loungy strummer, not a bleepy Grandaddy-ish rocker that the name might otherwise suggest (coincidentally, Grandaddy is noted as one of the band's influences at its MySpace shack here). Still, there is a subtle, steady undercurrent of electronics at work on Airshow, which in a recent Boston Globe interview the band chalked up to a recent diet of German electronic music. The set was recorded in Francine's practice space, but you'd never know it, as it doesn't exhibit any of the tell-tale symptoms of overzealous rookie production. Rather, the recording regimen seems to have allowed Francine to imbue the music with a characteristic measured delivery. Q Division released Airshow, Francine's third long-player, June 13. The label has posted a couple MP3s, including the aforementioned "Ones And Zeroes" and the particularly Acetone-y yearner "Connectionless," which you can download below.

Francine -- "Ones And Zeroes" -- Airshow
Francine -- "Connectionless" -- Airshow
[right click and save as]

[buy Airshow from B&N here]

Rack And Opinion: Release Date 8.22.06

Eric Bachmann -- To The RacesYou probably noticed we skipped Rack And Opinion last week. You didn't miss anything; there were a couple Monkees reissues, there was the Sex Pistols reissue, and that was it. This week, in contrast, offers a bounty of indie rock delights the number of which we haven't seen in months; the likes of which, if you are among our readers still engaged in higher education (or lower), will drain your bank account quick, fast and in a hurry.

We've already heard a few of these, and we've reviewed Darker My Love here and Uzeda here. To hear Mr. 'Nac tell it, the real gold may be the Eric Bachmann set, his Saddle Creek and solo debut all wrapped up in one; we just hit the album stream at Aversion and are pleased with what we heard (acoustic and lively, as opposed to acoustic and dull). Beyond that, this week is all about picking personal favorites. If you have a crush on Stars' Amy Millan, she's got her first proper solo record this week. If you like to drive around intently smoking and listening to the literate wisdom of John Darnielle, there's a new Mountain Goats set this week. All these and the rest of our picks for the week are listed below. Links go to relevant commercial opportunities with our former bicycle repair men over at Insound.

Eric Bachmann -- To the Races -- Saddle Creek
Broadcast -- Future Crayon (B-Sides/Rarities) -- Warp
Cursive -- Happy Hollow -- Saddle Creek
Darker My Love -- Darker My Love -- Dangerbird
Jennifer O'Connor -- Over The Mountains, Accross The Valley, and Back To The Stars -- Matador
Lambchop -- Damaged -- Merge
Amy Millan -- Honey From the Tombs -- Arts & Crafts
The Mountain Goats -- Get Lonely -- 4AD
Snowden -- Anti-Anti -- Jade Tree
Supersystem -- A Million Microphones -- Touch + Go
Tortoise -- A Lazarus Taxon -- Thrill Jockey
Uzeda -- Stella -- Touch + Go
M. Ward -- Post-War -- Merge

August 19, 2006

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Maritime

MaritimeOne of our favorite records of the first half of 2006 is Maritime's We, The Vehicles, so we were excited to see these tour dates come across the teletype earlier this summer. Particularly since that last date on the list below is right down the street from :: clicky clicky :: hovelquarters. If you are not up-to-speed, Maritime formed a couple years back and features Promise Ring's Davey Von Bohlen and Dan Didier plying their indie pop powers in tandem. Ex-Dismemberment Plan bassist Eric Axelson was also on board, but he left the band earlier this year to concentrate on not touring the U.S. in an indie rock band. Not too long afterward Flameshovel issued Maritime's aforementioned sophomore full-length. We reviewed the track "Tearing Up The Oxygen" here in March, and we bet the link in that item to the hi-fi MP3 is still working, so give it a try. We've posted two more MP3s below, and for more Maritime goodness, check out the band's recent session and interview with the fine folks over at Daytrotter here.

Maritime -- "Calm" -- We, The Vehicles
Maritime -- "Parade Of Punk Rock T-Shirts" -- We, The Vehicles
[right click and save as]

09/08 -- Terrace -- Madison, WI
09/09 -- First Avenue -- Minneapolis, MN
09/13 -- Maintenance Shop -- Ames, IA
09/14 -- Knickerbockers -- Lincoln, NE
09/15 -- Marquis Theater -- Denver, CO
09/16 -- Kilby Court -- Salt Lake City, UT
09/18 -- Towne Lounge -- Portland, OR
09/19 -- The Paradox -- Seattle, WA
09/21 -- Cafe Du Nord -- San Francisco, CA
09/23 -- Spaceland -- Los Angeles, CA
09/24 -- Hard to Find Showspace -- Goleta, CA
09/25 -- Casbah -- San Diego, CA
09/26 -- Rhythm Room -- Phoenix, AZ
09/28 -- Emo's Jr. -- Austin, TX
09/29 -- The Cavern -- Dallas, TX
10/19 -- Subterranean -- Chicago, IL
10/20 -- The Night Owl -- Dayton, OH
10/21 -- Mercury Lounge -- New York City, NY
10/22 -- The Middle East Upstairs -- Cambridge, MA

Going Places: NEMO Music Festival Preview

NEMO Music FestivalBoston's annual NEMO Music Festival will descend on our metro area Sept. 28-30, and bands confirmed to play along include Yo La Tengo, Be Your Own Pet, Frank Smith (who we saw open for the New Pronoungraphers earlier this summer with Mr. 'Nac -- they were ace), Girl Talk, Ladytron, The Long Winters and the Scissormen. You can read the full slate of confirmed acts right here. NEMO is offering access to a page we presume is filled with MP3-alicious goodness to music fans who get a free card with an access code on it from the world's caffeine-dealing overlords, Starbucks. Once you get your card, hit this link, where the coffee conglomerate promises you can download all you want through Oct. 1. It sounds like you have to get your card by Aug. 31, so don't blow it, although we expect most of the music available will be the typical free tracks the bands post on their own site or MySpace dojos anyway. We need to get Mrs. Clicky Clicky to head to Starbucks this weekend so we can get inside the page and poke around, and we'll let you know of any stellar finds.

Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the fact that we will be speaking on a NEMO panel about MP3 blogs with many of your favorite Boston bloggers. So if you'll be attending the conference, come on down and say hello. Badges are apparently $100 for the whole weekend, which, if you amortize that over the slate of great bands noted supra, turns out to be a pretty good deal.

August 17, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: Kaki King's "Gay Sons Of Lesbian Mothers"

This is one of our favorite jams from the new Kaki King record ...Until We Felt Red. This particular live performance, at an art gallery or some other sterile environment in Connecticut, is remarkable for a couple different reasons. Most importantly, we had no idea that this track was comprised of loops that Ms. King creates on the fly -- even the percussion. We'd only ever seen her performing live on an acoustic on Letterman or Conan or something where it was just her and a guitar, so I guess it just never occurred to us, even after we heard the new joint. Anyway, the song is mesmerizing in and of itself, but watching her piece it together is relaxing and hypnotic. The camera work of this clip is obviously not even close to pro, but it adds a bit of DIY flare to the performance. If you'd like to check out a professionally produced video, head over here to Stereogum, which has posted the video for the new cut "Yellowcake."

Kaki King | MySpace
Kaki King | web site

Today's Hotness: Sean Lennon, Interpol, Lemonheads

Sean Lennon>> To hear him tell it, Rock n' Roll prince Sean Lennon should have the blues, big-time. Of his forthcoming sophomore set Lennon says, "Basically, all the songs are pretty recent. They're all about my relationship with my ex-girlfriend and its demise, and also my best friend having had an affair with her." Billboard has the full interview here. Lennon's Friendly Fire streets Sept. 26 on Capitol. Also interesting: Harper Simon, son of esteemed folkie Paul, is the main guitarist on the record.

>> Speaking of Capitol, Billboard's follow-up on the news that uplifting mope rockers Interpol have signed with the major label is filled with interesting numbers. To whit: Turn On The Bright Lights, the band's debut full-length issued by Matador, has sold 438,000 copies since its release in 2002. Antics, the band's second set, has sold 435,000 copies since its release in 2004. Capitol first met with Interpol in 2001, prior to the band's attachment to Matador. More info in the article here.

>> Chief Lemonhead Evan Dando is already putting the cart before the horse, album-wise. Although The Lemonheads' eponymous Vagrant set, the first in 10 years under the Lemonheads banner, doesn't come out until next month, Dando tells LiveDaily here, "I want to do another [album] right away. I'm going to be writing on tour. And I want to get right in the studio and do another one, I hope, at Fort Collins with Bill [from The Descendents] again." According to the uberfans at the forums at EvanDando.Co.UK, U.S. tour dates are starting to pop up hither and thither. We're crossing our fingers for a warm-up show for the tour in Boston. Make it happen, Vagrant.

>> Band fronter Kele Okereke here talks about the new Bloc Party record with NME. We're excited by the things he says.

August 16, 2006

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Centro-matic

Centro-maticAround this time last year we were just starting to go nuts over The Hold Steady's Separation Sunday, a record we would describe to casual- or non-music fans who heard it and then asked, "hey, what is this?" as the year's best "pure rock record." Which was sort of intended to mean, "well, The Hold Steady is an indie rock band, but you're not really into indie rock, and since the band wears its love for classic rock on its collective, bear-soaked sleeve, we'll meet you halfway with some sort of inane descriptor that sounds sorta credible." Anyway, this is a long way of saying that our favorite indie/classic rock mash-up of 2006 so far is Centro-matic's excellent Fort Recovery, which was released by Misra in March. And it's an even longer way of setting up the rote listing of Centro-matic tour dates posted below. It's the band's first trip to the west coast since the aforementioned record hit racks. If you have yet to get hip to the band, check out this MP3 the nice people over at Misra have posted; you can download and stream more cuts at the band's MySpace domicile here.

Centro-matic -- "Triggers And Trash Heaps" -- Fort Recovery
[right click and save as]

08/30 -- Lubbock TX -- Jakes
08/31 -- Albuquerque NM -- Launch Pad
09/01 -- Tucson AZ -- Club Congress
09/02 -- Phoenix AZ -- Modified
09/04 -- San Diego CA -- Casbah
09/05 -- Los Angeles CA -- The Troubadour
09/06 -- San Fransisco CA -- Bottom of the Hill
09/08 -- Portland OR -- Doug Fir Lounge
09/09 -- Seattle WA -- Neumos
09/11 -- Boise ID -- Neurolux
09/13 -- Denver CO -- Larimer Lounge
09/16 -- Austin TX -- Austin City Limits Festival

August 15, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: Human Television's "In Front Of The House"

There is a guy in a purple shirt in this video who does some very funny and exuberant dancing. Not only did that make us smile, but we also have a shirt exactly like that. Perhaps you've seen it. Anyway, Human Television: about six weeks ago we headed over to and bought their entire catalog (two full lengths and an EP). This was spurred by a trip to the act's MySpace after recalling that members of HT were in the current touring version of the Lilys. "In Front Of The House" is definitely one of the now Philly-based band's best jams. The way the singer strums that mini gee-tar in hyperfast, jittery motion is unnerving in an interesting way, and we love when the camera cuts to him at the end of the verses for the delivery of his deadpan "yeah." As far as subject matter goes, the video seems to encapsulate life in one's early 20s, right down to apartment living and trash picking. Maybe that was just our early 20s. Either way, this is a really great song. You should also check out the clip for the title track to the band's most recent record, Look At Who You Are Talking To, here. How crazy talented is this kid? Human Television plays Brooklyn's McCarren Park Pool with The Walkmen and Dr. Dog Aug. 27.

Today's Hotness: Chris Walla, Interpol, Deerhoof

Chris Walla>> reported here today that Death Cab For Cutie guitarist and recording dude Chris Walla has signed to Barsuk. The label, which was home to Death Cab until the release of the band's most recent, major label-issued set Plans, will issue a solo record from Walla in 2007. Walla has yet to decide whether the yet-to-be-titled record will be issued under his own name or if he will give the project its own snappy moniker.

>> In the event you missed it, everyone else on the Internets has reported that New York-based, moody indie rock act Interpol has in fact signed with Intersc- Just kidding, they signed with Capitol. The major label has also recently scooped up bookish indie rockers The Decemberists and flirty Brit electropopper Lily Allen. Selected coverage: Chromewaves | Coolfer | PantsFork.

>> BrooklynVegan here has posted beautiful pictures of Deerhoof singer Satomi Matsuzaki's hair flying around. NYT here reviews the show wherein said hair flying occurred; the show transpired at Brooklyn's McCarren Pool over the weekend.

>> And finally, we wouldn't necessarily say we were defending Kelly Clarkson here, but rather defending some of her fans. And giving props to Ted Leo. All the same, look, our name is on the Internets! Incidentally, we are also being profiled in an upcoming Boston Globe feature on local MP3 bloggers. We'll .pdf it and make it available here for you to all put on your refrigerators when it is finally published.

Review: Uzeda | Stella

Uzeda -- StellaIt may be simplistic to assert that Sicilian quartet Uzeda sounds like Shellac fronted by Kim Deal yelling herself hoarse, but that doesn't make the assessment any less accurate. The similarity is undeniable, and on Stella, Uzeda's sixth record and first in eight years, it is almost predictable. That's because this record and a few earlier Uzeda sets were committed to tape via Shellac-fronter Steve Albini and his punishing 1,000 hurts-per-second production. Perhaps it is best to couch the similarity as compliment: Uzeda's strength -- the ability to create bristling grooves of cheese-grater guitar, chunky bass and inside-your-head drums, all as stark as an EKG reading, all raw-nerved energy -- is the same as Shellac's. And while Uzeda's economical music can be as harrowing as that of Mssrs. Albini, Trainer and Weston, it is more earnest and cathartic ("This Heat") and less outwardly confrontational. Stella's narratives are concerned with fears ("Time Below Zero") and personal hells ("Camillo") and eschew Shellac's irony.

As the most recent Shellac full-length was 2000's 1,000 Hurts, Uzeda's set stands at the ready to fulfill the record-buying needs of fans of heavy, slowly grinding and minimalist music. The dicey authority Wikipedia tells us that Uzeda fronter Giovanna Cacciola and guitarist Agostino Tillota served time in recent years in Don Caballero impresario/drummer extraordinaire Damon Che's Bellini project. As far as area appearances go, according to Bradley's Almanac Uzeda and Shellac are playing Martha's Vineyard's Katherine Cornell Theater Sept. 3. Both acts then play Touch And Go's 25th Anniversary Rocktacular Sept. 9. Touch And Go issues Stella Aug. 22.

You can stream Stella in its entirety here. Stream the set's closing track "Steam, Rain & Other Stuff" at this link (select "Featured Clips" at upper right).

August 14, 2006

Free Range Music: Sex Pistols, Excepter, Under Byen

Excepter, the band behind Alternation>> Before Never Mind The Bollocks..., before acerbic frontman Johnny Rotten had fully developed his ultra-snide and confrontational vocal persona, before his band had fully excised all of the flourishes that snotty punks would soon consider the licks of arsey careerists, the Sex Pistols recorded some demos. The recordings have been widely bootlegged almost since they were created. We seem to recall that punk/fetish wear impresario and Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren may have actually been behind some of the bootlegging, believing -- as many apparently do -- that the demos which came to be known as Spunk were superior to the beefier cuts released as the incendiary 1976 set Never Mind The Bollocks... And there is good stuff on Spunk, including a ripping version of "Nookie," a/k/a "Anarchy In The UK," as well as a bracing, throat-shredded take on "No Fun." AOL Music's got the record in its pre-release album stream corral this week; you can stream it at the link below.

Sex Pistols - Spunk -- Castle/Rykodisc

>> You can stream New York quartet Excepter's recently released inside-out electro-dub set Alternation right here, and we strongly suggest you do. The record, released July 25 on Kill Rock Stars/5 Rue Christine, is pretty remarkable. While we think the forthcoming Supersystem record, which also embraces elements of dub, is pretty good, we kind of wish it sounded more like the Excepter record.

>> We'd seen the name about the Internets at one blog or another, but it was an email from AAM that spurred us to check out 11-year-old Danish octet Under Byen, and we're glad we did. The band's Same Stof Some Stof is full of dark electropop and will be issued by Toronto's Paper Bag Records Sept. 24. Stream four of the new cuts at the band's MySpace tent here, and download two of the tracks directly from the band here. Sadly, the tune "Pilot" posted at the band's MySpace is not a Notwist cover, but despite that the song is pretty great.

>> This week's BBC Collective music feature looks at the new Lambchop record. We haven't listened to it yet, but the Collective is streaming a few cuts you might want to check out here.

Today's Hotness: Yo La Tengo, Neptune

Yo La Tengo and Matador's Beat Your Ass Season Pass>> If you got to PantsFork this morning, saw the new exhausting best-of feature they began today, and turned around and web-surfed away as fast as you could, you missed this news posted this afternoon about some cool stuff Matador and Yo La Tengo are doing to promote the forthcoming set I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass. Here's the deal, which is also laid out here: if you pre-order the record from participating online storefronts including Insound, you will receive a password for something called Beat Your Ass Season Pass. BYASP, as we've cleverly abbreviated it, lets passholders stream the forthcoming record prior to its Sept. 12 release and access exclusive MP3s and an interactive, Quicktime booklet featuring album art, photos and liner notes.

>> Boston noise rock dynamo Neptune has entered into a two-record deal with esteemed label Table Of The Elements, which has released records by artists including Faust, John Cale, Jim O'Rourke and Gastr Del Sol. Neptune will begin recording its Table Of The Elements debut in December after completing its current touring commitments, and the band estimates the record will street in about a year. See the full tour dates at the band's MySpace drive-thru here. The band has Boston appearances slated for early October.

Previously: Neptune opens for Mission of Burma
Previously: Neptune opens for Witch

August 13, 2006

Review: Sebadoh | III [Reissue]

Sebadoh -- III[We are pleased to welcome back friend and former colleague Jay Kumar to the virtual pages of :: clicky clicky ::. Mr. Kumar will review CDs here as his schedule allows. He recently launched the podcast Completely Conspicuous; previously he discussed Sloan and other things Canadian in this guest post. -- Ed.]

Ah, the Sebadoh. You can’t think “’90s indie rock” without thinking of the three-piece from western Massachusetts. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Primarily known by some as the band Lou Barlow started after he left Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh was originally more influenced by Eric Gaffney’s material than Barlow’s. Sebadoh III was the band’s first full-length and although it may have been overshadowed upon its release in late 1991 by some album called Nevermind, it was pretty influential in its own right. It helped introduce lo-fi indie rock, wavering between Barlow’s acoustic, sensitive guy songs, Gaffney’s explosive noise collages, and drummer Jason Loewenstein’s low-key offerings. Standout tracks include Barlow’s “The Freed Pig” and “Truly Great Thing” and Gaffney’s “Violet Execution” and “Limb by Limb.”

In the new Sebadoh III reissue from Domino, the original 23-song album is remastered and packaged with great liner notes from all three band members and an 18-song second disc that includes the Gimme Indie Rock EP plus a whole treasure trove of unreleased material that represented the band’s sound leading up to the recording of Sebadoh III, Gaffney writes in the liner notes. The package is well worth picking up for anyone interested in capturing a moment in time; while Nirvana and its Seattle ilk were driving the hair bands off the radio, this album, along with Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted, encouraged left-of-center artists to pick up a guitar and a four-track and start making their own music. Eventually, friction between Gaffney and Barlow led the former to leave the band several times, quitting for good in 1993 and leaving Barlow and Loewenstein to soldier on. They cranked out some decent albums throughout the rest of the decade, but none of them had as much impact as Sebadoh III. Domino released the reissue Aug. 8. -- Jay Kumar

Sebadoh -- "The Freed Pig" -- III [Reissue]
[just click; MP3 via Insound]

Sebadoh -- "Gimme Indie Rock" -- III [Reissue]
[right click and save as]

Sebadoh | MySpace

[buy Sebadoh III from Insound here]

August 12, 2006

Today's Hotness: +/-, Thom Yorke, The Futureheads

Plus Minus -- Let's Build A Fire>> Everyone's favorite Versus side project +/- has signed to Absolutely Kosher, and the label will release the band's third set Let's Build A Fire Oct. 24. +/- is the five-year-old vehicle for Versus sideman James Baluyet's tunes. A different version of Let's Build A Fire was issued in Japan earlier this year. You can download the new song "Steal The Blueprints" by right-clicking that there title; watch the video over at YouTube.

>> Pitchfork's Thom Yorke interview here is very informative, and the most interesting part of all may be the Radiohead fronter's admission that he struggles with crippling doubt, and, while he does not explicitly say it, stage fright. Of the latter concern, Yorke makes reference to the well-known troubles of XTC's Andy Partridge, who suffered from such acute stage fright that the band had to stop touring. Anyway, the entire interview is a must-read, and as such we don't refer to Pitchfork by one of our funny and slightly derisive nicknames here.

>> Behold, the video for The Futureheads' new single "Worry About It Later," available in two different delicious flavors of streaming media [ RM | WM ]. The single is available Aug. 14 from all the usual real and virtual places you buy singles.

>> And finally: behold, the cover art for the forthcoming Hold Steady record Boys And Girls In America and some tour dates for the greatest American bar band. And there is a new Album Leaf record coming. Sub Pop releases Into The Blue Again Sept. 12, according to Billboard here.

That Was The Show That Was: TV On The Radio

TV On The Radio, Boston's City Hall Plaza, 8/11/2006The vast echo chamber of Boston's concrete-tastic, neighborhood-eating City Hall Plaza played host to an after-work, radio station-sponsored [i.e. free!] outdoor show featuring post indie [what?] behemoth TV On The Radio. Oh yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeahs played, too, but we got hungry and split before they took the stage with their carefully architected haircuts so as to squeeze some chow in before seeing our friend Scott play a different radio station-sponsored [free!] show down the street at Felt. As we made our way to the Plaza TV On The Radio was mid-way through their opening number, the sound of which caromed off facades and out into Washington Street. As we strode up we had our fingers crossed hoping that the band hadn't opened with the cataclysmic first track from their forthcoming genius Interscope set Return To Cookie Mountain, "Wolf Like Me."

If you've heard Return To Cookie Mountain, or the tune "Dry Drunk Emporer" [right click and save as] that the band put on the Internets here last year, you know that TV On The Radio has some strong opinions about the direction the current administration is taking our country. The between-song banter from lead singer Tunde Adebimpe and guitarist/falsettoist Kyp Malone Thursday almost exclusively stated that each subsequent song was "about not joining the Marines today." The gag was as funny as the band was serious -- the Marines were an event co-sponsor, a move the military branch probably began regretting at, oh, about 6:05PM. The band ripped through a fifty-five minute set that offered fans who haven't already obtained the record through other means [*quietly whistling*] a hard look at a somewhat stripped-down version of the excellent new material. The highlight of the set was when the band ratcheted up the energy and dropped into a spine-tingling version of the aforementioned zippy punk-howler "Wolf Like Me" [stream RM | WM, via AP] right at the set's midpoint. Other new cuts that got a particularly stirring airing included "Province," the pre-release promo cut "I Was A Lover" and "Dirty Whirlwind."

We're not sure how well the majority of the crowd [which the Boston Phoenix estimated at 10-15,000 -- really?] received the band, surprisingly, but we suppose that many attendees were fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who have already had chart success and TV exposure via one teen drama or another and therefore probably enjoy a larger, and visibly younger, fan base. We'll concede that the boomy space of City Hall Plaza swallowed up a lot of TV On The Radio's strident, reverbed guitar playing. That said, the band delivered a fiery set that fans will recall for some time, and newbies can say they attended when Return To Cookie Mountain streets Sept. 12 and becomes one of the biggest records of the year. The band begins a European stretch of dates today and you can review the dates and stream some more music at the band's MySpace yert here; BrooklynVegan has U.S. tour dates posted here.

[pre-order Return To Cookie Mountain from Insound here]
[More coverage at Hip To Be Square, Rbally and The Wicked]
[More pictures of the show here]

August 9, 2006

From The Admin Cubicle: TVOTR Tomorrow

We'll be off the :: CC :: night desk tomorrow in order to attend the free TV On The Radio/Yeah Yeah Yeahs show at Boston's City Hall Plaza. It's an early show, but we've got a pal in from out of town doing a radio showcase with his band directly thereafter, so just plan on us being back over the weekend with some remarks about the TV On The Radio set. We are still on the fence of whether we'll stick around for their labelmates Yeah Yeah Yeahs, although if they open we guess we won't have a choice. Anyhow, as you were. -- The Management.

Free Range Music: Forward Russia's "Thirteen" [Stream]

Forward Russia -- Detail of Photo by BrooklynVeganThis song is a big sweaty rocker, the kind of number it looks like you might need a couple guys to help you carry, since it is all angles and changes and big guitars and crescendo. The song is called "Thirteen" and it is the Leeds-based quartet Forward Russia's forthcoming single from its even more forthcoming set Give Me A Wall. "Thirteen" will be available through various digital storefronts Aug. 15, and the full length Give Me A Wall follows about a month later on Sept. 19. Hit the stream below for a good jolt of post-punk loveliness in two popular flavors of streaming media. As you might expect, you can stream more numbered songs from the record at the band's MySpace outpost, which we've linked to below.

Forward Russia -- "Thirteen" [RM | WM] -- Give Me A Wall

Forward Russia | web site
Forward Russia | MySpace

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Snowden [MP3]

SnowdenAfter months of anticipation, Jade Tree will release Aug. 22 two-year-old quartet Snowden's debut full-length Anti Anti. To pimp the release the Atlanta-based act will hit the road for about six weeks beginning this weekend and we've posted the dates below. The label has been offering the title track for download for several months. What can we say: sometimes we're just behind the curve on things for a good long while. Anyway, we're glad we finally got hip to the tune over the weekend, because "Anti Anti" is a head-nodding, hand-clapping bit of downer pop with many strengths, one of which is vocalist Jordan Jeffares' reliable but somewhat sleepy cadence. The shimmering guitars also don't hurt the song's cause. You can download the track at the link below, download an EP at the band's site here and stream some more cuts at their MySpace dojo here.

Snowden -- "Anti Anti" -- Anti Anti [Jade Tree]
[right click and save as]

08/12 -- Augusta, GA- Soul Bar
08/18 -- Athens, GA - Tasty World
08/19 -- Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
08/22 -- Chapel Hill, NC -- Wetlands
08/23 -- Norfolk, VA -- Relative Theory Records
08/24 -- New York, NY -- Sin-E
08/25 -- Boston, MA -- Great Scott - The Pill
08/26 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Southpaw
08/29 -- Louisville, KY -- Ear X-tacy In-Store
08/29 -- Louisville, KY -- Uncle Pleasant's
08/30 -- Nashville, TN -- The Basement
08/31 -- Jackson, MS -- WC Don's
09/01 -- Austin, TX -- The Continental
09/02 -- Dallas, TX -- Good Records In-Store
09/02 -- Dallas, TX -- The Amsterdam Bar
09/04 -- Albuquerque, NM -- Atomic Cantina
09/05 -- Phoenix, AZ -- The Trunk Space
09/06 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Indie 103.1 In Studio
09/06 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Silverlake Lounge
09/08 -- San Francisco, CA -- Club I.D. - Rickshaw Stop
09/09 -- Sacramento, CA -- Old Ironsides
09/12 -- Portland, OR -- Berbati
09/13 -- Seattle, WA -- Crocodile Cafe
09/15 -- Boise, ID -- Neurolux
09/16 -- Salt Lake City, UT -- The Urban Lounge
09/17 -- Denver, CO -- Hi-Dive
09/18 -- Omaha, NE -- O'Leavers Pub
09/22 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Brillobox
09/29 -- Birmingham, AL -- The Nick