May 31, 2010

Song Johnny Foreigner Gives Away Gratis Better Than 99.9% Of The Crap That People Want You To Pay For

Fans may recall that Johnny Foreigner briefly blitzkrieg-bopped their way through South Africa in late winter, playing some shows and a festival and generally -- based on the photographic evidence -- having a grand time in a stunningly beautiful country. The Birmingham, England-based indie giants had such a fine time, in fact, that they are considering recording their third full-length record there, according to this blog post what you already read. A return to South Africa to record a full-length will not be Johnny Foreigner's maiden recording effort there, however. During the band's jaunt earlier this year it laid down at least one track with a fellow named Peach, and this track is awesome, and Johnny Foreigner put it up for free downlizzle over the weekend right here.

The synth-tastic "With Who, Who And What I've Got" is a gorgeous number that downplays guitars while at the same time overdriving the 8bit production sound to approximate the band's desperate guitar pop attack. The song, incidentally, also fulfills the requirements of our Indie Axiom for Awesomeness no. 3. We doubt "With Who, Who And What I've Got" was written entirely in South Africa, but to the extent that country had any positive influence on the material, we'd be thrilled to hear what the band can do recording a full length "down" "there." Check it out for yourself.

Johnny Foreigner -- "With Who, Who And What I've Got" -- South Africa
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[buy Johnny Foreigner records from EMusic right here]

May 28, 2010

Soccermom | House Of Blues, Boston | June 3

Your biggest problem next week will be trying to juggle your schedule so you can see Soccermom AND The Hush Now play House Of Blues, Boston, Thursday despite the fact they are playing in different rooms at potentially the same time. Maybe cloning will become a reality by then. One can only hope. Soccermom's show is free, and The Hush Now's is RSVP, so make sure to get your plan straight.

May 27, 2010

And Then Some Days We Get Awesome Mail 2

London-based (via Manchester) noise-pop sensations Sir Yes Sir's thrilling cassette-only debut EP Not Excited arrived today. The collection was released March 1 in the UK and remains available for purchase -- until the limited edition of 200 copies peters out -- from Rough Trade here. We first wrote about Sir Yes Sir right here in January; since then the band has shared the stage with Clicky Clicky faves Johnny Foreigner; released said EP; played the big Pavement tribute show in Brixton earlier this month; and recorded a radio session with Huw Stephens. Late word from the band is that it will appear on a forthcoming compilation put out by London-based indie concern Fierce Panda. Fierce Panda will release June 14 the Licensed To Drill six-track compilation EP, to which Sir Yes Sir have contributed the song "Your Recent Hits." Apparently a Sir Yes Sir full-length recording is in the works. These are exciting times.

May 25, 2010

Today's Hotness: The Radio Dept., Sunvisor, The Hush Now

>> [PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weiland] Despite liking very much specific tracks ("A Window" from the 2006 collection Pet Grief immediately jumps to mind), only now are we fully appreciating the wonderful Swedish dream-pop concern The Radio Dept. The band, which has been around for an impressively long 15 years in one form or another, issued April 21 its heart-felt, wistful third record Clinging To A Scheme on Labrador. This most recent Radio Dept. record, four years in the making, is filled with great tracks, our favorite being the cleverly titled "The Video Dept." In typical fashion Labrador has been promoting Clinging To A Scheme with free MP3s, and the latest is for the odd and pretty "Never Follow Suit." The reggae-tinged track is underpinned by firm beats and lashed to chords slanted on the upbeat, but a pretty synth line and understated vocal are the true focal points. "Never Follow Suit" will be issued as a single June 16 with two b-sides on CD and digitally, but you can download the A-side for free right now because that is how Labrador rolls.

The Radio Dept. -- "Never Follow Suit" -- Clinging To A Scheme
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[buy Clinging To A Scheme from Labrador here]

>> Long Island, New York-based electropop duo Sunvisor sent us a delightful preview track from the band's planned debut EP, which is due this summer. The song is called "Sky Dive," and we expect those among you who are proponents of Ulrich Schnauss or Morr Music-styled dreaminess will find "Sky Dive" quite appealing. The tune was Forkcasted yesterday, and for good reason: "Sky Dive" touts a perfect balance of effervescent beats and blissed synths that pleasantly pushes and pulls the buoyant track toward a conclusion that sadly comes too soon.

Sunvisor's "Sky Dive"

>> Word from Boston dream pop titans The Hush Now is the quintet began tracking a planned forthcoming EP this past weekend. The band was cutting basic tracks live all in one room of a house studio in Malden, MA. Ryan's Smashing Life had a photographer on the scene to snap this picture Sunday. No word on when we can expect to hear the finished product, but The Hush Now will apparently be playing certain of the new material at one of its numerous pending live dates. The band is slated to play two after-parties in the front room at the House Of Blues June 2nd and June 3rd as soon as The National finish its headlining set. The Hush Now is also scheduled to play McGann's Pub in Boston June 11. The band's most recent set Constellations was self-released earlier this year; we reviewed it here.

May 24, 2010

And Then Some Days We Get Awesome Mail

Philly-based emo heroes Everyone Everywhere's self-titled full length debut is out now on Tiny Engines. The quartet plays O'Brien's Pub this Saturday night in Boston. Read all of our Everyone Everywhere coverage at this link.

Review: The Henry Clay People | Somewhere On The Golden Coast [MP3]

Making rock music about making rock music is a dangerous game, and a band that attempts it best have the goods lest they be relegated to dung heaps still piled high with '70s cock rock and the output of faceless '80s metaltards. Fortunately the young and exuberant Los Angeles-based rock concern The Henry Clay People has the right amount of hooks, attitude and self-awareness to succeed brilliantly, and -- despite songs about selling guitars to pay rent; about crashing on couches; about Saturday night -- the quartet's forthcoming sophomore full-length Somewhere On The Golden Coast just might save rock 'n' roll from itself for a little while longer (as the similarly 'Mats-inspired The Hold Steady's earth-shaking Separation Sunday did five years ago).

The Henry Clay People's precedent full-length, EP and single hinted at great things, but Somewhere On The Golden Coast exceeds expectations by showing the band, fronted by the wonderfully shouty Joey and Andy Siara, can shift gears and offer more than boozy mid- and uptempo rockers. The opening prologue "Nobody Taught Us To Quit" skips rhythm tracks altogether while aggrandizing the sort of foot-shooting favored by Paul Westerberg. The ballad "A Temporary Fix" similarily ditches the drums in the first verse, and Mr. Siara's aching murmur floats among hair-raising feedback and noise and tremeloed organ. It's a surprising turn for an act best known for foot-stomping bar anthems, which, of course, Somewhere On The Golden Coast touts in spades. In addition to the ace single and EP cuts "This Ain't A Scene" and "Working Part Time," the red-hot "Your Famous Friends" and "Keep Your Eyes Closed" memorably rock with abandon.

To borrow a phrase, the greatest bands create their own mythologies, and The Henry Clay People's Somewhere On The Golden Coast boasts neccessarily short-handed tales whose genesis may or may not be founded in fact. The emphatic expostulation "we got drunk and called in sick whenever we felt like it!" tidily sums up a glory of slackerdom; "If your fancy school put you back in debt, I'd sell my favorite guitar so you can pay your rent" romanticizes trials of the rocker class. By our (unscientific) calculations, the last cool band to come out of Los Angeles was Jane's Addiction, so The Henry Clay People actually aren't only saving rock 'n' roll, but they are also restoring legitimacy to a town whose contributions to indie rock grow ever more remote. Somewhere On The Golden Coast will be issued by TBD Records June 8.

The Henry Clay People -- "Your Famous Friends" -- Somewhere On The Golden Coast
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[pre-order Somewhere On The Golden Coast from Amazon right here]

06.08 -- Spaceland -- Los Angeles, CA
06.15 -- Hard Rock Live -- Orlando, FL
06.16 -- Sunset Cove Amphitheater -- Boca Raton, FL
06.18 -- Ritz -- Tampa, FL
06.19 -- The Tabernacle -- Atlanta, GA
06.20 -- The Ritz Theatre -- Raleigh, NC
06.21 -- The National -- Richmond, VA
06.23 -- DAR Constitution Hall -- Washington, DC
06.24 -- Wellmont Theatre -- Montclair, NJ
06.25 -- Williamsburg Waterfront -- Brooklyn, NY
06.27 -- House Of Blues -- Boston, MA
06.28 -- Penn's Landing -- Philadelphia, PA
06.29 -- The Sound Academy -- Toronto, Ontario
07.02 -- The Fillmore Detroit -- Detroit, MI
07.03 -- Aragon Ballroom -- Chicago, IL
07.04 -- Summerfest -- Milwaukee, WI
07.16 -- Hard Rock Hotel -- Las Vegas, NV
07.17 -- Marquee Theater -- Tempe, AZ
07.19 -- Stubb's -- Austin, TX
07.20 -- Warehouse Live -- Houston, TX
07.21 -- Palladium Ballroom -- Dallas, TX
07.24 -- Live on the Levee -- St. Louis, MO
07.26 -- The Fillmore Auditorium -- Denver, CO
07.27 -- The Rail -- Salt Lake City, UT
07.29 -- Crystal Ballroom -- Portland, OR
07.31 -- The Paramount Theatre -- Seattle, WA
08.07 -- Soma -- San Diego, CA
10.09 -- Austin City Limits -- Austin, TX

The Henry Clay People: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

May 22, 2010

Today's Hotness: Lower Dens, Concord Ballet Orchestra Players

>> Bullet points for Jana Hunter that we keep at the ready in the unlikely event we are engaged in conversation about the haunting/haunted songwriter: first, the compelling voice -- it's in the same register as Chan Marshall, but perhaps a tad more desperate and poignant; second, the unsettling quality of her gothic Americana gets under your mental skin, and stays there; and third; she once toured via sailboat, but then there was some sort of boating mishap, and then the tour had to finish by land. We can now add a fourth, which is that Ms. Hunter recently formed the band Lower Dens. The Baltimore-based quartet, commissioned in 2009, significantly fills out Hunter's compositions with a standard rhythm section and second guitar. The aural heft does much to enhance her songs, at least based on the pulsing, reverberant promo track "Hospice Gates." The tune will feature on Lower Dens' forthcoming, 11-song full-length Twin-Hand Movement, which the label Gnomonsong will release July 20. The long player, which was to have been Hunter's third solo set, will be preceded by the single "I Get Nervous" b/w "Johnssong,"; the single is available for pre-order now and will be issued May 31. We first wrote about Hunter here in 2005, where we reviewed her Gnomongsong debut, the collection Blank Unstaring Heirs Of Doom. Hunter subsequently released the additional solo sets There Is No Home (2007)and Carrion EP (2007).

Lower Dens -- "Hospice Gates" -- Twin-Hand Movement
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[pre-order Twin-Hand Movement from Gnomonsong here]

>> Scene-maker and radio DJ extraordinaire Jeff Breeze's long-running improvisational space-rock project Concord Ballet Orchestra Players is back with a fifth record, Palindromes. The set, which features Mr. Breeze abetted by a quintet including our former Junkmedia colleague Martin Pavlinic, is officially released June 1, but you can download the thing for free at Bandcamp right here right now. You're wondering why you need improvisational space-rock in your life. We understand, believe us. But Palindromes is quite engaging, in a non-singles Pink Floyd circa 1966 kind of way. Take, for example, the organ-heavy (and, we'd venture, Richard Wright-indebted) psych-out "Serif Fires," which we are posting below. The composition meanders, but with a purposeful tunefullness that maps structure and indicates the CBOP cohort has well-developed, collaborative instincts, and/or an ear for the interesting. Have a listen to "Serif Fires" below, and download all of Palindromes right here. Concord Ballet Orchestra Players has two pending gigs, the details of which we are posting below the embed.

06.01 -- P.A.'s Lounge -- Somerville, MA
07.31 -- AS220 -- Providence, RI

>> Our practice is to let our reviewers have the last word on the records and shows they assess. Even so, we are compelled to echo Mr. Piantigini's rave here about the latest album from Dutch indie veterans Bettie Serveert. The record is simply a joy to hear, wherein fronter Carol Van Dyk and her cohort find the perfect balance of sentiment, atmosphere and edge, over and over again. While we waited for Pharmacy Of Love to show up in the racks of our local Newbury Comics outlet, we spent an ample amount of time with the Deny All digital EP from ITunes. And we admit being apprehensive when we dropped the disc next to the cash register that perhaps we were buying a bunch of filler, that said EP was going to have all the hits. But we were wrong. Pharmacy Of Love is lean, not-quite-mean, but wholly compelling, and the non-EP tracks "Love Lee," "The Pharmacy" and "Change4Me" stand among the best of the album. What we are saying is this: buy this record. It is not Palomine, to be sure (nor does it have the amazing dynamic range of Palomine), but in terms of songwriting and consistency, it may be as strong.

May 21, 2010

Awesome Art For Forthcoming Johnny Foreigner 10" Unveiled


Rejoice! Above is the front and rear art for the Every Cloakroom Ever fan-funded, self-released 10" EP from Birmingham, England-based noise-pop goliaths Johnny Foreigner (as first posted here Thursday at the Johnny Foreigner Facebook corral). Yes, those are the names of every person who pre-ordered the collection. A new blog post from the band Friday indicates the 45RPM records will ship in the next couple of weeks, and that fans who ordered the EP will soon receive a bonus track of sorts via email titled "Kelly Watches The Coast," which we assume is some sort of take on the terrific closer from Grace And The Bigger Picture, "The Coast Was Always Clear." The post also indicates that the band hopes to tour the U.S. in the fall and then record album number three in South Africa by the end of the year. Exciting news.

May 20, 2010

Review: Travels | Robber On The Run [MP3]

We were smitten with the band's sophomore set The Hot Summer, and in particular the swirling album cut "Buzzard's Bay," but seeing Travels live in October made us confirmed believers. That The Hot Summer and the Somerville, Mass.-based duo's forthcoming set Robber On The Run will both have been released in the springtime seems to do them a small disservice, as the duo's sparse, smoldering songs evoke not re-birth, but rather a beautiful stillness and decomposition that are distinctly autumnal. Seasonal anachronism aside, Travels' forthcoming third full-length Robber On The Run proves the band's continued success at creating spell-binding, if somewhat unsettling, records.

The music of guitarists/singers Anar Badalov and Mona Elliot manifests like dreams scrolling across the backs of eyelids in detached sheaves of varying psychic weights and densities. Drop the needle anywhere within Robber On The Run and one encounters melodic, meticulously architected songs that urgently whisper like the inner workings of a(n analogue) wrist watch. While drum machine renders the songs rhythmically stiff, the music breathes with the drift of layered guitars and vocals that hang suspended in the air like heavy smoke. The sum total is a ghostly record shot through with shimmering energy, from the solemn instrumental opener "Swimming" to the dazed, piano-studded but otherwise almost transparent rendering of the standard "My Funny Valentine." The relatively up-tempo "Burr Song" is an album highlight that foregrounds melodic feedback over prickly picked guitar and tidal piano, while the multiple layers of guitar in the otherwise understated rumination "Smile" add substantial weight to Mr. Badalov's vocals.

Own Records will release Robber On The Run June 10; preorders are available here. Those who pre-order will receive codes to immediately download the record, and will receive a copy of The Hot Summer along with Robber On The Run when the new set ships June 10. You want these records.

Travels -- "Smile" -- Robber On The Run
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[buy Robber On The Run from Own Records right here]

Travels: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

May 18, 2010

Today's Hotness: Ringo Deathstarr, Johnny Foreigner, Big Science

>> On a whim we checked in with Austin-based shoegaze titans Ringo Deathstarr to see if we could learn anything about the quartet's planned full-length debut. And we can tell you that the record has been recorded, and it is being mixed and mastered. The set will be called Colour Trip, and it is slated for release in the fall in the UK on Club AC30 and in Japan on Vinyl Junkie. Band fronter Elliot Frazier tells us there is currently no U.S. label attached to the record, which is insane, but it's a crazy, mix-up world out there, people. The Deathstarr is working on music videos now and plans to tour in support of the record around the time of its release. Awesomes!

>> Fans who are turning blue and near expiration from holding their breath waiting for the arrival of the now near-mythical Every Cloakroom Ever 10" EP from Johnny Foreigner will soon be rewarded. According to Facebook chatter, test pressings of the record arrived within the organization yesterday, and records could ship to fans as soon as next week, although we've heard that the ship date could be two weeks out. Either way, exciting stuff. Every Cloakroom Ever features art by Lewes Herriot that contains the name of every single person who pre-ordered what was originally to be a single self-released by the band; after orders were taken Johnny Foreigner decided to upgrade the release to a four-song 10", the digital files of which were distributed to pre-order purchasers earlier this spring. The band is otherwise "plotting, recording and working on other, non UK show stuff." We're hopeful this comment is referencing Johnny Foreigner's efforts to throw together a crowd-sourced DIY tour of the States, an idea the band first floated here last month. While the Birmingham, England-based noise-pop trio casts its gaze across the Atlantic, it does have a summer of festival and other dates upon which to focus as well. Here are the band's live commitments as best as we could gather from various crevices of the Interzizzles:

06.05 -- The Harley -- Yorkshire
06.13 -- Sellindge Festival -- Hope Farm, Gibbons Brook, Sellindge
06.26 -- The Playground @ 93feeteast -- London
07.01 -- Wellington College -- Berkshire
07.15 -- Wichita Party @ The Garage -- London
07.17 -- Cockermouth Rock Festival -- Cumbria
08.13 -- Leefest -- Bromley
08.20 -- Castle Calling Festival -- Richmond

>> It's been more than a year since Chicago-based futurepop savants Big Science released to the Interwebs the free EP The Coast Of Nowhere. The EP is awesome, and you can still download it here. Twitter stalkers have been fed regular updates about the recording of a full-length record, and then suddenly recently there was chatter about an EP that will precede the full-length. According to the Internet Home Page of AEMMP, the band's newish label, the EP is titled Skyscraper Sound and it will be issued next week on 25 May. Big Science plays a record release show Saturday. Have you seen the awesome art for this thing? We still haven't any idea what songs are on the EP or how one goes about buying it (hey AEMMP, get on that), but two apparently new songs "Basement Lights" and "Burn All Night" popped up on the band's MySpace player in the last couple weeks. But you can be assured that it is likely worth whatever they will be asking.

May 11, 2010

Five More Reasons To Follow Us On The Twitterzez

This is a true story about how a rep at LiveNation gives us tickets to give away, and then we give them away, and then someone wins them, and then that persons goes to a rock show for free, and then the world spins around, and then birds sing, and then love blooms, and... well, you get the picture. When we were an up-and-comer we dug the free stuff, still do, as a matter of fact, and the only thing we like more than getting free stuff is giving free stuff. And so we were pleased when our friendly neighborhood corporate ticketing person offered us the opportunity to give tickets away. And the latest batch is hot stuff: we have a pair of free tickets to the already-sold-out Stars show June 1 at Paradise Rock Club. We have tickets to see Psychedelic Furs at House Of Blues; we saw the band there -- well, at Avalon -- so very long ago it isn't in the archives of this blog, and they were fantastic, even then, some five thousand years into their career. And then we've got tickets to The Futureheads at the Paradise June 7, New Pornographers at House Of Blues June 18, and way off in the distance for Wolf Parade July 12. We think you'll agree that is a fine slate of shows. But the only way you can win tickets from us is to follow us on the Twitterzez, where you'll find us @clickyclicky. So start following.

May 10, 2010

Today's Hotness: Lilys, The Secret History, Cannons

>> In our opinion the best half-hour of music broadcast every weekday is the first quarter of WMBR's long-running, completely crucial radio program Breakfast Of Champions. We typically capture a chunk of said half-hour whilst commuting, and therein we encounter songs pre-filtered for awesomeness by trustworthy sources. Allow us to digress further by directing your attention to the fact that this week Breakfast Of Champions' band of the week will be the Lilys, one of this blog's all-time, top-five favorite acts; you can hear the band of the week segment at 8:30AM US east coast time every day, and we strongly suggest you check it out.

>> The true purpose of the item above was to set up this one, in which we tell you about one of the acts we recently encountered on Breakfast Of Champions, The Secret History. Perhaps named for one of our favorite books, perhaps not, the curiously hyper-sartorial Brooklyn-based indie pop septet issued in March a full-length debut The World That Never Was on the label Le Grand Magistery. The Secret History's primary songwriter is a fellow named Michael Grace, Jr., formerly of the act My Favorite. Mr. Grace is abetted by a large cast, but apparently vocals are handled by Lisa Ronson, the daughter of the vaunted Bowie sideman Mick Ronson. The new collection is packed with somewhat theatrical narratives, but there is enough rock to keep things focused. The lead track seems to be the strongest: it's an upbeat, heavily Brit-pop influenced (think The Primitives; were they considered Brit-pop?) gem called "Johnny Anorak." Oh the beautiful guitars in this track, oh the terrifically hooky chorus. Have a listen.

The Secret History's "Johnny Anorak"

>> We've spent a lot of time recently listening to Philly-based post-hardcore quartet Cannons' debut long-player Friendly Muscles. The record reminds us of those years in the early '90s when everybody you knew had a band, and a lot of those bands were heavily influenced by D.C. hardcore generally, and Fugazi specifically. Of course, part of the magic of Fugazi was the band's visionary blend of hardcore, reggae and hip-hop, and it remains to be seen if Cannons will find a unique sonic identity and aesthetic that can similarly unify a nation of spiritually dispossessed youth. But the act has an energy and sound that fans of vintage D.C. sounds will find immediately palatable. The year-old Cannons self-released Friendly Muscles in early March, and they were cool enough to consent to our offering the awesome rocker "In Times Of Crisis, People Direct Traffic" below. Cannons has cycled through a series of bass players but has finally settled on a chap named Marcus, and the foursome aims to record five new songs for a planned EP later this year. There are two upcoming shows in Philadelphia, and we've listed those dates below.

Cannons' "In Times Of Crisis, People Direct Traffic"

05.12 -- The Khyber -- Philadelphia, PA
05.22 -- JR’s Bar -- Philadelphia, PA

May 8, 2010

Review: Walter Schreifels | An Open Letter To The Scene [MP3]

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Walter Schreifels' new record is that it sounds completely effortless, like the hardcore/post-hardcore luminary is not even breaking a sweat, like the music simply exists out there in the universe waiting to flow through whenever Mr. Schreifels picks up a guitar and opens his mouth. There are, of course, other surprises: for example, sometimes when Schreifels here picks up a guitar and opens his mouth the music sounds like Squeeze, or John Cougar, or Maritime. But these surprises do not eclipse Schreifels' startling ease with acoustic pop in the wake of decades in which he helped define New York Hardcore with Gorilla Biscuits and then mapped successive escape routes from the genre beginning with the incendiary post-hardcore act Quicksand. More years and more bands followed, and now, finally, Schreifels released last week a record under his own name.

Let's reiterate: it is odd -- at least for those of us who have only anecdotally followed Schreifels' career for the last decade -- to hear one of the most important figures in hardcore music release a record of beautiful acoustic pop. Schreifels' web site contains a note stating this is the sort of material he has been playing in acoustic sets in recent years; the note also states the songwriter had been looking to The Beatles, The Byrds and Donovan for inspiration as he was writing An Open Letter To The Scene. But it is not the influence of classic rock bands that makes the record special, it is the synthesis of those bands and others, and a synthesis of that music and Schreifels' facility with hooks and emotive lyrics.

The addictive album opener "Arthur Lee's Lullabye" is perhaps as much about the legendary fronter of Love as it is about Schreifels himself proclaiming his own freedom from his musical past ("the scene, you don't need them"). The title track may be, as friend and Daily Buzzard scribe Jim suggests, Mr. Schreifels' eulogy for the hardcore scene or CBGB's (or both). Our take is the tune is a light-hearted shot at those who have taken hardcore and Schreifels so seriously that he is compelled to write a song that closes a chapter in his life. In that context, An Open Letter To The Scene is a classic Dear John letter. It's not you, reader, it's Walter. Even so, discussion of the larger themes at play does a disservice to the sublime moments scattered across the record: the da-da-da's in "She Is To Me;" the world-weary drawl of the first line in the second verse of "Save The Saveables;" the poignant, soft electric piano in the tragic "Wild Pandas;" the explosion of hooks that is the smile-inducing "Ballad of Lil' Kim." Because, in the end, it is about great songs, and not about where Schreifels has been or where he is going. An Open Letter To The Scene certainly summarizes Schreifels' musical past -- so much discarded snake skin -- but more importantly it frees him from its confines once and for all.

Walter Schreifels -- "Arthur Lee's Lullabye" -- An Open Letter To The Scene
[right click and save as; MP3 via Schreifels' promo co. Okay! Okay!]
[buy An Open Letter To The Scene from Dine Alone here or Big Scary Monsters here]

Walter Schreifels: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

05.14 -- The Tower -- Bremen, DE
05.15 -- Gruner Jager -- Hamburg, DE
05.16 -- Bunker Ulmenwall -- Beilefeld, DE
05.17 -- Schlachthof -- Wiesbaden, DE
05.18 -- Blue Shell -- Köln, DE
05.19 -- St. Gallen -- Gabenhalle, CH

May 6, 2010

Pavement Ist Rad, Brixton, 8 May

Featuring the exceedingly promising Sir Yes Sir, about whom we first wrote words here, and the one-time-only supergroup (featuring at least one member of the wholly terrific Johnny Foreigner) Kannberg 1664. England, you're doing it right.

May 5, 2010

YouTube Rodeo: A Weather's "Untitled"

We've been posting a lot of videos this week, haven't we? We're streaky like that. Here we have a new, unrecorded A Weather tune as performed during the waning days of the Portland, 0re.-based slowcore outfit's recent tour supporting its sophomore set Everyday Balloons. The song was one of many highlights of the band's intimate set at P.A.'s Lounge in Somerville, MA last month. The performance above is from A Weather's April 28 show at Off Broadway in St. Louis, and the song gets a little lost among the crowd noise of the larger venue. But we can assure you the performance at P.A.'s was riveting [review here], although we were completely unfamiliar with the track when we heard it. We got in touch with singer and guitarist Aaron Gerber a few days after the P.A.'s show, and he told us the band has been working on the track for a few months, and also that he wrote the song around the time of the recording sessions for Everyday Balloons, but it wasn't ready in time for those sessions. So for the time being, this video is the only way you can hear this beautiful, affecting new song. Team Love released Everyday Balloons March 2; we reviewed it here. Readers will recall we published an interview with Mr. Gerber here last month just prior to the show in Somerville.

May 2, 2010

YouTube Rodeo: Walter Schreifels' "Arthur Lee's Lullabye"

Wonderful lead track from musical journeyman/New York hardcore legend Walter Schreifels' forthcoming solo set An Open Letter To The Scene. Mr. Schreifels has been releasing music -- much of it capital I Important -- with various bands (Quicksand, Rival Schools, Walking Concert, etc.) for an astonishing 22 years; Revelation Records issued his first release, Gorilla Biscuits' debut 7", in 1988. Toronto-based Dine Alone Records releases An Open Letter To The Scene Tuesday; Big Scary Monsters issues the set in the UK May 10. The limited-edition vinyl version of the record is bright, translucent green and features as a bonus track My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep." Schreifels recently wrapped a strand of shows in the U.K., but he has numerous live engagements inked for the U.S. and Germany in the coming weeks.

05.05 -- The Studio @ Webster Hall -- New York, NY
05.07 -- North Star Bar -- Philadelphia, PA
05.08 -- Town Ballroom -- Buffalo, NY
05.14 -- The Tower -- Bremen, DE
05.15 -- Gruner Jager -- Hamburg, DE
05.16 -- Bunker Ulmenwall -- Beilefeld, DE
05.17 -- Schlachthof -- Wiesbaden, DE
05.18 -- Blue Shell -- Köln, DE
05.19 -- St. Gallen -- Gabenhalle, CH

May 1, 2010

YouTube Rodeo: Travels' "Smile"

Video for the slow-burning album cut from Boston (well, Somerville) duo Travels' forthcoming third full-length Robber On The Run, which is due June 10 on Own Records. Pre-orders for the set are slated to begin May 10. The video for "Smile" was directed by Travels' singer/guitarist Mona Elliot; Ms. Elliot also created this video for the track "City Lights."