September 26, 2007

That Was The Show That Was: Yo La Tengo | Coolidge Corner

Yo La Tengo, Coolidge Corner Theater, Sept 25 2007 -- photo courtesy of Ric Dube[We are pleased to present once again reportage of friend and former editor Ric Dube, one of the stalwart duo of men who critiqued our writing into the good shape it was in six years ago. The Good Doctor is the most devoted Yo La Tengo fan we know (this is the very man who created this popular I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass promo video). He previously reviewed for us the band's Sept. 28, 2006 performance at Boston's Avalon, which you can read here. -- Ed.]

Last night we watched and listened as Yo La Tengo performed their scores to eight short undersea documentary films directed by Jean Painleve. It's something the Hoboken, New Jersey-based act does rarely, having first created the presentation for a 2001 film festival in San Francisco. The storied indie trio has performed this music fewer than a couple of dozen times since. A 2002 CD titled The Sounds of the Sounds of Science offers a beautifully recorded but more restrained representation of what transpires when Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew offer it in a live setting. And the initial differences between the performance and recording were only the beginning of an evolution; now as the years go by it's exciting to hear how much the performances continue to evolve.

And so it turns out The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science isn't a soundtrack album -- it is an album unto itself. Like any other set of compositions, the songs have evolved as the artists have grown and as their interests have changed. On numbers like "Sea Urchins," "Love Life of the Octopus" and "How Some Jellyfish Are Born," digital delay sound effects once used as background texture are now "played" as lead instruments. Melodies once played right in the pocket are now syncopated. Passages once patiently formless have inched toward structure. Yo La Tengo's entire performance Tuesday evening was magnificent, which was reassuring after the discouraging introduction of the band by filmmaker Fabien Cousteau, grandson of legendary undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau. -- Ric Dube, Senior Yo La Tengo Correspondent

Yo La Tengo intends to spend much of the early autumn touring. We've posted full dates below. The band has also posted "The Love Life Of The Octopus" for download, which we offer below to save you the trip.

Yo La Tengo -- "The Love Life Of The Octopus" -- The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science
[right click and save as]
[buy this and other Yo La Tengo titles from the band here]

Yo La Tengo: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

Previous Yo La Tengo coverage:

That Was The Show That Was: Yo La Tengo | Avalon, Boston [2006]

09/29 -- Hollywood Bowl -- Los Angeles, California
10/06 -- Lyceum -- Brooklyn, New York
10/09 -- Warhol Museum -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
10/10 -- Buskirk Chumley -- Bloomington, Indiana
10/11 -- Lakeshore Theatre -- Chicago, Illinois
10/12 -- Discovery Museum -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
10/13 -- Calvin College -- Grand Rapids, Michigan
10/19 -- Jeanne Rimsky -- Port Washington, New York
10/20 -- Colony Cafe -- Woodstock, New York
10/22 -- First Unitarian Church -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10/23 -- The Birchmere -- Alexandria, Virginia
10/27 -- Manifest Festival -- Mexico City
10/29 -- The Aladdin -- Portland, Oregon
10/30 -- Town Hall -- Seattle, Washington
11/01 -- Palace of Fine Arts -- San Francisco, California
11/04 -- Museum of Contemporary Art -- San Diego, California
11/10 -- MassMOCA -- North Adams, Massachusetts
11/11 -- Cornell University -- Ithaca, New York
11/15 -- Museum of Fine Art -- Boston, Massachusetts

September 23, 2007

Review: Meneguar | Strangers In Our House [MP3]

Meneguar -- Strangers In Our HouseBarring any surprises, Strangers In Our House is the rock record of 2007. During the two years since Meneguar's prior EP was first released, fan anticipation for a full-length debut has been excruciating, and was only fleetingly slaked by the 2006 "Bury A Flower" single. Thankfully, the Brooklyn indie rock quartet used the time to patiently perfect a record that delivers on the promises of (and powerfully re-articulates the premises of) the powerhouse I Was Born At Night [review]. Strangers In Our House is a tense collection of unabashed rockers rife with sing-along choruses, big dynamics and smart guitar/bass interplay.

There are enough anthems among the 11 tracks to release nearly as many singles. Of course, every anthem needs a memorable rallying cry, and lyrically Meneguar meets the challenge. Singer and guitarist Jarvis Taverniere repeatedly confesses "at the bottom of my heart there is a ledge" in the up-tempo album highlight "Paint You." Perhaps none of the tracks is as confrontational as earlier fist-bangers such as "Kids Get Cut," "The Temp" or "House Of Cats." But the new songs remain as tightly wound, while Meneguar injects more exposition -- not to showcase wankery (hot metal licks or Wakeman-esque prog flourishes), but as a vehicle to balance multiple wiry melodic ideas across the back of the pummeling rhythm section.

The exposition, as well as the gang vocals on the choruses, adds new dimension to music that heretofore thrived on the blunt force of relatively flat production. No small feat, since at least some of Strangers In Our House was recorded in the band's own house (read more about the recording process of Strangers here). A case in point is the new version of "Bury A Flower." Along with chimes and synth, the iteration on Strangers is augmented with an extended outro that almost grooves. The paint-peeling opener "Table 2" emerges from dense strumming cloaked in reverb, and closer "1,000 Actors" recesses into a quiet jam before receding altogether.

Troubleman Unlimited issues Strangers In Our House Tuesday. The set is being released on CD and three different colors of vinyl (although as we reported earlier, white is already sold out). A European pressing of the record issued by Release The Bats has different art work. Meneguar also has plans to issue two one-sided 12" records, but release dates have not yet been made public. The band has been touring Europe since early this month, and will hit the UK this week before returning to the U.S. in late fall; dates as they currently stand are listed below. Troubleman was cool enough to permit us to offer an MP3, so have a listen to the rocktastic "Table 2."

Meneguar -- "Table 2" -- Strangers In Our House
[right click and save as]
[buy Strangers In Our House here]

Meneguar -- "Freshman Thoughts" [video] -- Strangers In Our House

Meneguar: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

10/17 -- The Art Damage Lodge -- Cincinnati, Ohio
10/18 -- DAAC -- Grand Rapids, Michigan
10/19 -- People Projects -- Chicago, Illinois
10/20 -- TBA -- Madison, Wisconsin
10/21 -- Oleavers Pub -- Omaha, Nebraska
10/22 -- Eagle’s Lodge -- Wichita, Kansas
10/23 -- Rhinoceropolis -- Denver, Colorado
10/25 -- The Visual Art Collective -- Boise, Idaho
10/26 -- Healthy Times Fun Club -- Seattle, Washington
10/27 -- Satyricon -- Portland, Oregon
10/31 -- Pink Mailbox -- Goleta, California
11/02 -- The Barnyard -- Clovis/Fresno, California
11/03 -- The Smell -- Los Angeles, California
11/04 -- Echo Curio -- Los Angeles, California
11/05 -- Che Cafe -- San Diego, California
11/09 -- Emos -- Austin, Texas
11/10 -- 715 Panhandle -- Denton, Texas
11/12 -- TBA -- Little Rock, Arkansas

Previous Meneguar Coverage:

That Was The Show That Was: Meneguar | Oxfam Cafe
Show Us Yours #7: Meneguar
Review: Meneguar | I Was Born At Night

September 19, 2007

Today's Hotness: All The Same Acts We're Always On About

Okay Paddy -- Where You Went>> Seriously, we feel a bit like a broken record about these bands. But they're great. And work is consuming almost all of our blogging time, and likely will continue to do so through the end of the first week of October. So we've been devoting most of our writing to things we know we like recently. Please bear with us.

>> We're sorry to be able to confirm what our blog hit logs have been suggesting to us for a few days. Word from the Okay Paddy camp is that the quartet has called it quits. Scranton, Penn.-based Okay Paddy's The Cactus Has A Point [review] was one of our favorite records of 2006. The band had previously issued The Hunk EP, featuring the awesome track "The Waive," and this past summer Okay Paddy released via Prison Jazz the stirring EP Where You Went? [review], whose title was perhaps a harbinger of the band hanging up its proverbial cleats. Okay Paddy was also featured in our Show Us Yours series, specifically in Show Us Yours #8. You should seek out all of these records, and here are a couple reasons why:

Okay Paddy -- "The Waive" -- The Hunk EP
Okay Paddy -- "Dumbwaiter" -- Where You Went?
[right click and save as]
[buy Okay Paddy records from Prison Jazz here if you know what's good for you]

>> Have you bought your digital copy of Ringo Deathstarr's new Ringo Deathstarr EP? It's well worth the low, low price. Spoilt Victorian Child Records is offering a teaser track, the demo of which we think we offered recently. Here's the polished, shoegazetastic gem, also known as track two on the EP:

Ringo Deathstarr -- "Sweet Girl" -- Ringo Deathstarr EP
[right click and save as]
[buy the EP from SVC Records here]

>> When you look up "ducks in a row" in the Idiomatic Dictionary you may just find :: clicky clicky faves :: Mobius Band. Not only is their forthcoming record being issued by TWO record labels, but their forthcoming tour is being sponsored by Internet radio service WOXY (which refers to Matthew Dear as Mobius Band's former label mate, as does former tour sponsors M.F-R here -- clearly the Mobius Band label situation is confusing a lot of people, including us for a while). The trio played the Monolith Festival earlier this month and officially hits the road Oct. 1, the day before the new long player Heaven is in stores. Check out all the tour dates here, in case you didn't see them when we posted them here in August.

>> The official deets on the forthcoming third single from Manchester, England's The Answering Machine. As we reported here, the single will be for the track "Lightbulbs." What we didn't know until was that the record will be released in limited quantities on Regal Records Nov. 5, and the flipside will be a new recording of the song "Decadent." The quartet has posted "Lightbulbs" to its MySpace dojo so you can try before you buy -- check it out here. It's not too different from "It's Over! It's Over! It's over!" from the "Silent Hotels" single, but it is still a darn good song. Love that guitar tone, love the sound of real drums from the band's new drummer (or at least a better sounding drum machine, anyway), and we love the little glitches in the intro. Another great single. Thanks Answering Machine!

>> Plans for lunch Friday? Or breakfast if you are on the West Coast, supper if you are in Europe or the UK? Philadelphia's The A-Sides, who are former label mates with the late, lamented Okay Paddy and whose long-awaited Silver Storms was released yesterday, are playing a live set for Philly radio station WXPN at 12PM, and we expect that you can catch a live stream or an archived performance without too much hunting around the WXPN web presence.

September 16, 2007

Today's Hotness: Fall Release Mini-Spectacular

Fall Release Mini-SpectacularThis week ushers in the beginning of a parade of albums we've been waiting all year to hear, albums that will likely be our favorites of 2007. This is not to say there aren't other excellent records in the pipeline that we think will be stupendous (Kevin Drew, Les Savy Fav, etc.). But here's the rundown of the stuff at the very tip top of our list:

>> Sept. 18: The A-Sides -- Silver Storms -- Vagrant [buy!]

The A-Sides have had this record in the can for a long, long time. After having a label deal fall through last year, the band landed a deal with Vagrant that was an open secret for months and months prior to its announcement. The Philly-based act must be fairly relieved to finally have Silver Storms' release date basically here. The set itself is a big step forward sonically -- it captures The A-Side's transition from a jaunty rock band with notable vocal harmonies to a subtle act capable of grand atmospheres and lush arrangements. We can only imagine what the next record will be like. But for now, and finally, Silver Storms is upon us.

The A-Sides -- "We're The Trees" -- Silver Storms
The A-Sides -- "Diamonds" -- Silver Storms
[right click and save as]
[Full Album Stream at Apollo Audio]

>> Sept. 25: Meneguar -- Strangers In Our House -- Troubleman Unlimited [spend!]

How hot is this record? The limited white vinyl issue is already sold out. OK, that is only 100 copies, but even so. There are still copies of the black or green vinyl. According to Troubleman, the sleeve is "insane super thick cardboard casewrap gatefold covers, making this record weigh as much as three regular LPs." Pretty sweet. We'll be buying the CD, so that's one more record for one of you. Meneguar is currently touring Europe and plans a jaunt around the U.S. after that.

>> Oct. 2: Mobius Band -- Heaven -- Misra/Ghostly International [consume!]

As written about here, and here, and here, ad infinitum.

Mobius Band -- "Hallie" -- Heaven
[right click and save as]

>> Oct. 29: Ringo Deathstarr -- Ringo Deathstarr EP -- SVC Records [exchange currency for goods soon!]

[UPDATED] So yes, there is now an official release date for Texas-based shoegaze act Ringo Deathstarr's self-titled debut EP. Spoilt Victorian Child Records will release the set Oct. 29 on CD and via digital music storefronts including ITunes; the EP will be available digitally for two pounds directly from SVC Records Sept. 17, which -- as of this update -- is today if you are based in the UK and Europe. The band has posted a track from the EP titled "Sweet Girl" to its MySpace linked above. It sounds good, but what sounds really amazing is whatever searing track they are using as the backing music for this EP-hyping YouTube clip. For more of what the band has to offer, snatch the demo for "Some Kind Of Sad" linked below.

Ringo Deathstarr -- "Some Kind Of Sad" -- Demo
[right click and save as]

>> Nov. ?: Johnny Foreigner -- Arcs Across The City EP -- Best Before Records [purchase eventually!]

As the self-appointed biggest fan of Johnny Foreigner in all of the 50 United States, we were double-plus chuffed to see that the act was Forkcasted here Thursday. We're a little perplexed by Mr. Knight's assessment that the band has some sort of affinity for late, lamented D.C. indie rockers The Dismemberment Plan. Not that they do or don't. It just seems like a random band to name check. If you are saying a certain act sounds strongly influenced by American bands from the '90s, wouldn't you then use examples whose music sort of sounds like the band you are talking about? No matter. We're pleased to see the Birmingham trio name-checked in the de facto top U.S. music publication. As we reported here earlier in the month, Johnny Foreigner recently signed to the British label Best Before Records and will release its debut EP on some date in November.

Johnny Foreigner -- "Ninky vs. Dingle (Sunset Cinema Club cover)" -- I Like You Mostly Late At Never (Demos Collection)
[right click and save as]

September 11, 2007

Mobius Band With "Friends Like These"

Mobius Band -- HeavenBoston blog-in-arms ExitFare here earlier this week dug up the local Mobius Band tour dates we've been hoping for, which were reiterated in an email received from the band today. The trio will play Northampton, Mass. Nov. 30, and then the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, Mass. Dec. 2. We've sort of given up on seeing shows in the Middle East Down, but we'll certainly make an exception for these guys. Mobius Band issues its Misra Records debut (and sophomore full length co-released with Ghostly International) Heaven Oct. 2, and the latest promo track, the synth heavy, Peter Sax-sung "Friends Like These," has been released here via indie music, pop and gossip concern The band begins a tour Oct. 1 and is out on the road for five weeks before pausing as the Massachusetts dates grow nearer. And check it out, the band now shares the same PR rep as Wilco and Jeff Tweedy. Wild.

We've spent more than a few minutes pondering the cover of Heaven. The image of the woman eating the apple -- a picture that we are told was shot by John Vanderslice that is shown in cropped form above -- with the album title plastered over part of her face is deeply evocative. In case some of you didn't take a Humanities seminar your freshman year, what we're describing is basically a representation of Eve eating of the Fruit of Knowledge. Prior to that Biblical (we'd argue, mythical) act, Heaven didn't exist, because Adam and Eve lived in Eden, and there was no need to aspire to a utopian afterlife in that pre-lapsarian existence. We could go pretty far down this path (our outline would go something like: "fall from grace," "fallen woman," "knowledge," "betrayal," etc.) and cross-reference it against the recent personal set-backs that the members of Mobius Band experienced during the writing of Heaven as outlined here. But that is going a little overboard. What we did want to say is that this is the first album cover in years that we've actually sat and thought about for this long. It's an experience that pretty much has died/is dying because of the digitization of music, and that's a shame. As a kid we could spend the better part of an afternoon looking at the covers of Led Zeppelin or Rush records looking for meaning.

Mobius Band -- "Friends Like These" at Stereogum -- Heaven
[pre-order Heaven here]

September 9, 2007

Review: Pinback | Autumn Of The Seraphs [Stream]

Pinback -- Autumn Of The SeraphsIn an interview earlier this year TV On The Radio guitarist and producer Dave Sitek discussed repetition in music and how it appeals to a deeper consciousness in humans that is tied to the human heart beat. We wish we could dig up the clip, but the point is that this primal thrum that appeals to something very basic in listeners permeates the pleasantly sculpted music of veteran San Diego indie rock concern Pinback. We permitted Pinback's widely acclaimed 2005 Touch + Go debut Summer In Abbadon to skate by unexamined save for a few tracks posted on blogs, despite developing a pronounced affinity for the band's 2003 set Offcell. This latter record accompanied us on a lot of drives in the fall of 2003, and in the intervening years we've been increasingly interested by the work of Pinback's Rob Crow, whose non-Pinback releases earlier this year have both been notable, particularly the record by the project Other Men.

Here we pick up the Pinback thread on the occasion of its new, fourth set. Autumn Of The Seraphs percolates with the band's characteristic meditative energy. Mr. Crow, cohort Armistead Burwell Smith IV and band craft clean-burning songs that convey crackling passion and earnestness, all without getting too worked up. It's a neat balancing act, accomplished in no small part by refusing to indulge in rock's typically overt muscular posturing. As we said here a week ago: where other bands would use distortion, Pinback just dials back the edge and hits you with the clean. Where most other bands would deploy the fuzz-bass liberally to make their rock points strongly, Pinback uses in many places what sounds like one of those acoustic hollow-body electric basses that were popular in underground music circa 10,000 Maniacs. The album opener "From Nothing To Nowhere" is a case in point; it's all killer and no filler, but the instrumentation is surgically efficient. The album's hypnotic high points are "Good To Sea" and "Walters," two mid tempo amblers strung across crisp beats and abetted by a gauzy field of syncopated synth tones and guitar lines. Pinback embarks on an extensive tour Tuesday, and we've posted the American dates below.

Pinback -- "From Nothing To Nowhere" [stream] -- Autumn Of The Seraphs
[buy Autumn Of The Seraphs from Touch + Go here]

Pinback: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

09/11 -- Lou's Records -- San Diego, CA
09/12 -- Ameoba -- Los Angeles, CA
09/13 -- Ameoba -- San Francisco, CA
09/14 -- Fingerprints -- Long Beach, CA
09/19 -- Marquee Theatre -- Tempe, AZ
09/20 -- Sunshine Theatre -- Albuquerque, NM
09/21 -- Bricktown Events Center -- Oklahoma City, OK
09/22 -- LaGrave Field -- Fort Worth, TX
09/23 -- Emo's -- Austin, TX
09/25 -- Numbers -- Houston, TX
09/26 -- House Of Blues -- New Orleans, LA
09/27 -- Club Downunder -- Tallahassee, FL
09/28 -- The Social -- Orlando, FL
09/29 -- Common Grounds -- Gainesville, FL
10/01 -- Roxy Theatre -- Atlanta, GA
10/02 -- The Orange Peel -- Asheville, NC
10/03 -- Cat's Cradle -- Carrboro, NC
10/04 -- Satellite Ballroom -- Charlottesville, VA
10/05 -- Theatre Of The Living Art -- Philadelphia, PA
10/06 -- Stone Pony -- Asbury Park, NJ
10/07 -- 9:30 Club -- Washington, DC
10/09 -- Nokia Theatre -- New York, NY
10/10 -- The Roxy -- Boston, MA
10/11 -- The Tralf -- Buffalo, NY
10/12 -- Opera House -- Toronto, ON
10/13 -- The Crofoot -- Pontiac, MI
10/14 -- Metro -- Chicago, IL
10/16 -- Pabst Theater -- Milwaukee, WI
10/17 -- Fine Line Music Cafe -- Minneapolis, MN
10/18 -- Slowdown -- Omaha, NE
10/19 -- Gothic Theater -- Englewood, CO
10/20 -- The Depot -- Salt Lake City, UT
10/22 -- Showbox -- Seattle, WA
10/24 -- Roseland Theatre -- Portland, OR
10/25 -- Bimbo's -- San Francisco, CA
10/26 -- Bimbo's -- San Francisco, CA
10/27 -- Belly Up -- Solana Beach, CA
10/28 -- Wiltern Theatre -- Los Angeles, CA
10/23 -- Viking Union -- Bellingham, WA

September 8, 2007

Today's Hotness: Assembly Now, Answering Machine, Qui, Silver Jews

Lush, formerly of Assembly Now>> The electronically affable (we've only ever "met" him via email) Lush, drummer for London indie rock quartet Assembly Now, is now the former drummer for London indie rock quartet Assembly Now. Lush chalks his departure up to musical differences in a departure message to fans. In his stead for the foreseeable future (or at least foreseeable from across the Atlantic) will be John Sutton, brother to current bassist Howard Sutton, meaning now perhaps the rhythm section will have some sort of fraternal telepathy. Or maybe they will just pound each other like the Davies, Robinson and Gallagher brothers. Either way it will be exciting, no? We bid a fond farewell to Lush, who happily answered our questions when we featured Assembly Now in our on-again, off-again featurette Show Us Yours. Check out Show Us Yours #6 featuring Assembly Now here. The band's most recent release, the single "Graphs, Maps & Trees," was issued on the Kids label Aug. 6. Lush drummed on some pretty great singles. Here are the a-sides of the first two.

Assembly Now -- "It's Magnetic" -- "It's Magnetic" b/w "Out On 24s"
Assembly Now -- "Leigh-On-Sea" -- "Leigh-On-Sea" b/w "Tenement"
[right click and save as]
[buy the "Leigh-On-Sea" and "Graphs, Maps & Trees" singles from ITunes here]

>> According to a recent interview in the 'zine Noize Makes Enemies, The Answering Machine's next single will likely be for a track called "Light Bulb." According to the parley with band fronter Martin, the track was produced by Robin Houseman, who also produced the Manchester, England-based quartet's excellent "Silent Hotels" single, which streeted June 18 and sold out its vinyl edition of 500 in two days. According to the interview The Answering Machine's next single will be out in November. Will new drummer Ben play on it? We guess we'll find out in a couple months. In the meantime, kids in the UK have scads of chances to see the band live. Check out all the tour dates at the band's MySpace teepee here.

>> More news out of the Johnny Foreigner camp... so the signing was with Best Before as we expected. If you are a "friend" of "the band" on "MySpace" then you got the awesome bulletin the band sent out Friday night showing their names (and BLOOD) on the proverbial dotted line, as well as some shots of the recent recording session at Southern Studios and sundry other scruffy label and A&R types. The planned EP Arcs Across The City may be more of a November thing, as opposed to October, according to the latest missive, and is going to come in a cool package with pop-up art. Did we mention the Southern Sessions were recorded by a fellow named Harvey Birrell, whose credits include the Irish act Therapy? (whose song "Teethgrinder" errr, "Screamager" is totally the band's best jam). After stalking them via the Internet for half a year, we are hoping to get a proper interview with Johnny Foreigner later this fall. Watch this space.

>> Drowned In Sound has an informative and amusing interview with badman rocker David Yow, former fronter of The Jesus Lizard and newest addition to the trio Qui, here. Qui's record Love's Miracle streets next week on Ipecac. To hear Yow tell it, since leaving The Jesus Lizard he's spent most of his time drinking too much and playing with Photoshop. On the new record Yow is mostly singing vocal parts writting by Qui's Matt, but the now trio did write one song together, "Today, Gestation." We reviewed a recently released The Jesus Lizard live DVD here, and our foreign correspondent Zoz reviewed a Qui live date in January here.

>> More news from Drowned In Sound, who are really holding shizz down lately, no? The site reports that there will be a new Silver Jews record in 2008. The band, led by troubled poet David Berman, was to have finished recording the set last month and may be released as soon as January. More details are here.

September 6, 2007

Johnny Foreigner: The Beginning of The End and Everything

Johnny Foreigner (by Lewes)Oh, man, the new Johnny Foreigner song -- flipping brilliant.... We're cobbling together a quick post even in our harried state (the work project is still not over, and, yes, it will kill us, albeit a little more slowly from here on out) because there is news aplenty afoot regarding the noise pop geniuses. Word is a label deal for Johnny Foreigner is imminent, based on the Birmingham, England trio's latest MySpace message. Could be that the deal mentioned will be with Best Before Records, a label that is affiliated with a larger UK media and entertainment consortium called Mama whose holdings include live venues, music magazines and artist services businesses. JoFo disclosed Wednesday that it will release a six-song EP titled Arcs Across The City on Best Before, possibly in October. Best Before's web site already has a picture of the band in its header image, although as of Wednesday evening there was no other mention of Johnny Foreigner that we noted in our brief scan. Arcs Across The City was recorded at Southern Studios; songs recorded during those sessions include new versions of "Yes You Talk Too Fast" and "Champagne Girls I Have Known" (demo versions of both of those are freely available from the band's web site, as we wrote here in July) and new material. One new track, "The End And Everything," is a blistering, quirky slice of superlative rockery and is also the inspiration for the EP title. We can't stop playing it. Go to JoFo's MySpace and stream it until your head pops off. Can't wait for the EP.

Johnny Foreigner -- "The End And Everything" [stream] -- Arcs Across The City EP

September 3, 2007

Today's Hotness: Adrian Orange, Elevator Drops, Padded Mailers

Adrian Orange and Her Band>> We finally had a few hours to ourselves today which we used to go through recent promos that have collected on our desk. There was a lot of interesting stuff, and a lot of stuff that came close to getting us excited but came up short, like a certain promising power pop record hamstrung by mundane lyrics. One record, however, and one track in particular, that made us pause and take notice was from the forthcoming post-rocksteady set from Adrian Orange and Her Band. Adrian Orange is a dude from Portland, Ore. (who played in another project called Thanksgiving and co-founded Marriage Records, no less), so it's anybody's guess who the "her" of "Her Band" is. But nonetheless, the band's forthcoming K Records release is unlike any other that we've heard from the label. Orange and a loose collective concoct a perfect late summer sound that is far from unusual, but wholly engaging. Check out the groove-heavy track "You're My Home." Adrian Orange and Her Band's self-titled set will be released by K on Sept. 11.

Adrian Orange and Her Band -- "Your Home" -- Adrian Orange and Her Band
[right click and save as]
[pre-order Adrian Orange and Her Band from Newbury Comics here]

>> It's been a while since we checked in on the status of the perpetually delayed comeback record from Boston strung-out-robot indie rock trio The Elevator Drops. The band's fourth full-length OK Commuter (if you include the odds 'n' sods collection Epidose I) has been mysteriously delayed since its original Feb. 14, 2007 release date passed. Anyhow, a July blog post at the band's MySpace dojo reported that OK Commuter was attached to San Francisco-based On/Off Records and is -- if the blog post can be believed -- expected to drop sometime this month. A quick trip to On/Off shows that the digital-only label only sells singles, which is curious. But on the upside the label is currently offering a new Elevator Drops single, "Party Song" b/w "Catastrophe." The single is $2, and you order it through Paypal and then in theory they send you downloading instructions -- so far we've paid, but we're presuming no one is working Labor Day to send out the downloading directions as we haven't received them yet. Oh well. The Elevator Drops are still offering the tooth-achingly sweet rocker "Shake It" from OK Commuter for free download at its MySpace. We've been listening to it for months, and we'll save you the trip by re-posting it here.

The Elevator Drops -- "Shake It" -- OK Commuter
[right click and save as]
[watch the On/Off web site here to see when OK Commuter finally gets released]

>> Here are some ridiculously incremental updates for two of our favorite bands: venerable label Troubleman Unlimited reported last week that it expected the new Meneguar record "in about 10 days;" We can only imagine pre-orders will be taken shortly thereafter (we just checked, and the ever trusty Newbury Comics is taking pre-orders NOW). The Brooklyn quartet's sophomore set Strangers In Our House streets Sept. 25. In a few days Meneguar commences what we believe is its first European and UK tour [full dates here], which leads us to our second ridiculously incremental update, this one for Birmingham, England's own noise rock monsters Johnny Foreigner. A message board posting we saw somewhere in the last few weeks said the band may have a six-song EP in the offing. It sure would be nice if Troubleman would give that thing US distribution, no? Anyway, Meneguar and Johnny Foreigner have two dates together in England, Sept. 26 and Oct. 4, and we expect the people lucky enough to see these shows will see one of the best bills of the year.

>> Are you 1) in a Boston area indie band about to do a big mailing or 2) do you operate a Boston-area indie label and are you about to do a big mailing? Clicky Clicky HQ has scads of used padded mailers that we've been saving in the hope that someone else could re-use them. These are not pristine, but you should be able to tear off the mailing labels and postage that got them to Clicky Clicky HQ and put on your own labels and postage. Anyway, if you are interested in the padded envelopes, hit our email link over to the right. We'd be happy to bring a big shopping bag full of mailers to your Boston/Cambridge-area residence. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, ya'll.

>> Our work project is still ongoing, so things will be quiet again here until next weekend.

September 2, 2007

Today's Hotness: The A-Sides, The Answering Machine, Sigur Ros

The A-Sides>>[PHOTO CREDIT] Our big day-job goings-on have kept us from telling you the important news that you can stream The A-Sides' forthcoming sophomore set Silver Storms in its entirety right now over at Philebrity. We haven't even streamed it yet ourselves, although we did catch the studio version of the Philadelphia indie rock phenom's new tune "We're The Trees" on Jon Solomon's consistently excellent Local Support podcast a week ago. The Philadelphia Weekly here has an interesting question-and-answer with a couple of the guys from the band, and the most up-to-date fall tour dates were recently posted at The A-Sides blog here. The A-Sides will play the Middle East in Cambridge, Mass. on Nov. 4; Silver Storms will be released Sept. 18. We're checking our mailbox every day, oh great promo Gods -- please don't disappoint us. For the 10th time, here's an MP3 for "Cinematic," a track off the new record.

The A-Sides -- "Cinematic" -- Silver Storms
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>> The beer-drinking young folks in Manchester, UK-based trio The Answering Machine are easily as charming as their music, if this video (which takes forever to load) posted at the V Magazine site is any indication. The negative rap on this band is that they are very derivative of The Strokes, but we don't buy it. First of all, The Answering Machine appears to still not have a drummer. Additionally, saying an act is derivative of The Strokes basically ignores 30 years of rock history. But that's a conversation for another day. The Answering Machine recently did a BBC radio session -- you can hunt around the band's MySpace wigwam for the details and a link.

>> The trailer for the Sigur Ros documentary "Heima" has a very Harry Potter vibe working in it. Check it out here. And we mean the HP movies, of course -- we've yet to read any of the books. But the Sigur Ros video is stunning. Generally, we have to be in a specific mood to really get down to Sigur Ros, but this video is pretty inspiring, Spine-tingling even. Is this Icelandic band now out-Pink Floyding mid-'70s Floyd? If not, they're damn close.

>> We're in receipt of the new (or new-ish) Wombats EP. You Ain't No Picasso has the video of "Let's Dance To Joy Division" posted right here. With its iffy lyrics, it's not the sure shot that The Wombats' unstoppable cut "Moving To New York" is, but the track is still amply peppy. And the end of the video has some compelling visual surprises. Check it out here.

>> One of the things getting us through the 13 and 14-hour days we've been putting in at the day job recently is the forthcoming record from indie rockers Pinback. It is called Autumn of the Seraphs and it is due on Touch and Go Sept. 11. We hope to have the time to review the record in full sometime next month, but in the event we don't have the time (a second deadline-sensitive project is already in line behind the current Sisyphean task, and this is all in addition to our usual workload) we can tell you that a lot of the review will or would focus on the tone and energy of the set. Where other bands would use distortion, Pinback just dials back the edge and hits you with the clean. Where most other bands would deploy the fuzz-bass liberally to make their rock points strongly, Pinback uses in many places what sounds like one of those acoustic hollow-body electric basses that were popular in underground music circa 10,000 Maniacs. On top of it all, we love how Pinback's Rob Crow rocks the flight suit for the video for "From Nothing To Nowhere." Check it out here.

September 1, 2007

From The Admin Cubicle: John Paul Sartre Experience

Greetings. Thanks everyone for continuing to visit the site even though it has been dormant for the last 10 days or so. Readership is only down about a third, which is crazy since, you know, we haven't posted in a while. The bad news is that our big project at the day job is going to take another week, so there will be little posting before the 10th or so. That said, we might get a random post up before the weekend is out that will give you something new to look at. In the meantime, make sure to dig back through our recent posts to dig on Ringo Deathstarr and Nosferatu D2. We've been listening to that stuff alot while ploughing through the endless, Sisyphean task we are charged with. -- The Management.