Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cloud Nothings: "Understand At All" from Cloud Nothings

Sounds like another good lo-fi garage pop band... these guys are from Cleveland, this is a crazy video and I hear they are real good live.

Here's a video for an untitled song from a session they did recently for LaundroMatinee, which looks like a cool website...

Cloud Nothings - Untitled from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Here are their websites, looks like you can listen to songs on MySpace but their 2011 tour dates are up on Facebook, so check both out.

Website: Cloud Nothings on MySpace

Website: Cloud Nothings on Facebook

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Midnight World Pop Scout-4: Louche FC, Moscow Olympics, DJ Y alias JY, The Viceroys

Here is the fourth in the weekend series of pop from around the world. Listen and explore.

The Louche FC is a Manchester, UK four-piece signed to SWAYS Records. The style is jangly indie noise pop and shoegaze with female vocals, almost like a combination of early 60s girl-group pop and Swervedriver with some Orange Juice jangle. Or, as some do, you can call it "Orbison Shoegaze". The song below is "Motorcycle Au Pair Boy". Check out the following Myspace link for two additional nice songs, especially "Back Bedroom Casualty". I hope that we get an album soon.

The Louche F.C - Motorcycle Au Pair Boy by sways

UPDATE: Here is a video for the above song, performed live in Manchester:

And another great song at a little slower pace:


Many of us were disappointed with the Moscow Olympics in 1980, but we now have a reason to celebrate the Moscow Olympics. This version is a promising shoegaze group from the Philippines. The guitars wash over the listener in chiming waves.



It is modern and it is German so, of course, it is electronic and time to dance! Here is DJ Y alias JY from Munich.

If you like his work, click on the link below and get busy downloading a bunch of his mashups.

DJ Y alias JY's downloadable mashups

We'll end with an acoustic version of "Heart Made of Stone" by Jamaica's Viceroys. The cut is from the wonderful 'inna de yard' series, which seeks to present reggae classics as composed in the yards of the ghetto residences.

Inna de yard website

Inna de yard Myspace

REVIEW: Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

I try not to have expectations when I listen to a new record. What if a favorite band wants to try something completely different? In my opinion, they ought to have that freedom, really they've earned it. Take this new Mogwai disc for example.

Autotune, really? Well, in my opinion, it works. Where the first track, "White Noise" is a pretty typical Mogwai track (slow build, eventually overwhelming you with its raw power), "Mexican Grand Prix" (video below) develops steadily from an odd sort of synth click track, while speeding up and eventually adds some chanting autotune vocals. Not what I'd have expected, but it adds a nice touch. I hear Kraftwerk (of course, it's a road song), but filtered through American Analog Set and, of course, amplified to rock.

A delightful video with Glasgow streets and people rushing by at a dizzying pace, this reminds you that Mogwai are from the same place as Teenage Fanclub and Idlewild... I, for one, tend to forget that. But listen to "San Pedro" and "How to Be a Werewolf" and you will be reminded.

Seems to me there's a little more variety here and it's all very well-done. "Letters to the Metro" is a beatiful, country-inflected song, but of course at its conclusion, you are taken right into the choppy, rocking "George Thatcher Square Death Party" which layers in some more autotuned vocals over a punk backbeat and raging guitars. Then you're into "How to Be a Werewolf", which is gorgeous throughout... Let's not waste any more time. This is a fantastic record. I really don't think they've hit a false note on the whole thing. Go get it.

Website: Mogwai

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Old Stuff: The Jangle

No reggae lecture this Friday. Instead, I'm going to indulgently post some clips of old bands that may not be well known, but produced one of my favorite sounds in rock: The jangling, chiming guitar common in powerpop, indie rock and even twee. Many would recognize the sound from the early catalog of The Byrds. There won't be any analysis because there isn't much to say other than my music pleasure sensors max out on this sound. My only regret is that I have to limit the representative bands and songs from the chosen bands. Most of these bands are bands from the '80s UK pop scene, many of whom were considered part of the "C-86" era.

Scotland's Close Lobsters (which is the answer to the trivia question, what did the band do when some members wanted to call the band The Close" and some wanted to call it "The Lobsters"). These guys get two slots, because it is my post.

However, my favorite band name of the bunch -- 14 Iced Bears

The Popguns, from Brighton, UK:


The Chesterfields

The Jasmine Minks

Mighty Mighty

I'll save some of my favorites for another Friday.

Old Stuff Friday - The Soul Corner - Aretha

The Grammys and all the media attention about her illness got me thinking more than ever about Aretha. What can I say about the Queen of Soul except that she is my favorite singer of all time? I could post 50 songs from her, but in keeping with my Soul Corner tradition I have to pick just one.
Stevie Wonder wrote this song for Aretha, so this week's soul pick "Until You Come Back to Me" is great on great:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I would walk a thousand miles . . .

Been up in Chicago for a week trying a case, and homesickness has set in. This isn't facebook, but it made me think of this video -- not just this great song, but this version, played by Will Johnson at the house of some guy named Mike.

Okay, here's another good version, where Will plays with Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians.

And then there's this fantastic cover, by a former Drive by Trucker, Jason Isbell. We know all the Truckers are and were great Centro-matic fans.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Emerging Seattle Bands: Beat Connection

As the days get longer and warmer, can it really be too early to be on the lookout for some chill summer tunes? I thought not! Fusing indie rock, synth rock, bedroom pop, dance pop and a bit of world beat, and washing it in sunshine, seems to be the recipe for Seattle's Beat Connection. A case in point is "Silver Screen":

Sure, it sounds like it may nothing but studio wizardry, but Beat Connection known for killing it live, as well. Seattle's City Arts magazine named them fifth in their 'Best New Bands 2011' poll. Moreover, their chops are being recognized outside of Seattle as well as they'll be in Austin in mid-March for SXSW, and their song "Silver Screen" was chosen by Drowned in Sound blog as the single of the week. All of this is even more impressive when you realize that the gang seems to still be in their early 20s.


The name of the eight song debut EP is Surf Noir. Some of the songs were available in mp3 format previously, but they have been mastered for the release of the EP.

"In The Water":

Beat Connection on Myspace