Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Richard Buckner video - "When You Tell Me How It Is" off Surrounded, out Sept. 3

Here's the video for the lead track off Richard Buckner's new album Surrounded, out Sept. 3. It's a collection of images of blasted beauty - abandoned railroad yards, cracked paint on abandoned buildings, growth out of decay... interspersed with oblique images of Buckner performing:

A little description of his process on this album, from Merge: "The album’s liner notes include text-embedded lyrics, a technique Buckner employed on his earlier albums Since and Impasse, but this marks the first time he used the songs’ extended story to construct the album’s overall view and track sequence."

Listening to it, I'd second comparisons to Impasse and Since, even some to Devotion and Doubt - but he's come up with some unusual instrumentation, too. Some artists you just learn to trust, and Buckner is one of those, for me.

Tour dates:
Aug 17 Cleveland, OH — Happy Dog
Aug 18 Detroit, MI — Majestic Cafe
Aug 19 Chicago, IL — Schubas
Aug 20 Lexington, KY — Cosmic Charlie's
Aug 21 Columbus, OH — Cafe Bourbon Street
Sep 08 Richmond, VA — Capital Ale House *
Sep 09 Charlottesville, VA — The Southern *
Sep 11 Pittsburgh, PA — Thunderbird Cafe *
Sep 13 Wilmington, DE — World Cafe Live at The Queen *
Sep 14 Philadelphia, PA — World Cafe Live *
Sep 15 Brooklyn, NY — Littlefield *
Sep 17 New Haven, CT — Cafe 9 *
Sep 18 Pawtucket, RI — The Met *
Sep 19 Northampton, MA — Iron Horse *
Sep 20 Boston, MA — Museum of Fine Arts *

Read more and pre-order at Merge Records.

NEW VIDEO: Live performance from Horsehands on BTR Live: "Knots of Windsor" and Interview

Horsehands is a heavy prog/blues rock outfit with an intriguing vocal approach from Boston, MA. We've featured them before - their album Righty was the focus (WYMA post here). I find, in the bass/drum/guitar interplay, echoes of the great Minutemen. The songs are longer and there's definitely more of a prog element, but this is hard, tough and fast like the Minutemen always were. But maybe they're a little harder to pin down than I make it sound. The interviewer on this video asks them about Rush... (like I said, a bit of a prog element).

This video is from BTR Live Studio (BreakThru Radio) and we like their work, too - having featured a live in-studio performance and interview from Tablets (WYMA post here).

BTRLive Studio website

NEW SONG: Joanna Gruesome - "Sugarcrush" from Weird Sister, out Sept. 10

We recently featured music from Cardiff noise pop group Joanna Gruesome via HHBTM and Fortuna Pop - it was a single, "Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still in Love with Me" b/w "Lemonade Grrl" (WYMA post here). They're ready to release their first album, Weird Sister - and in addition to Fortuna Pop over there, have enlisted Slumberland in the US.

Here's an advance track from the album - "Sugarcrush" - same great guitars, same lush female vocals. It's actually a little faster, and the tension between the super-sweet vocals and the rushing guitar and rhythm section (and the last minute's descent into guitar-driven chaos) creates terrific expectations for this record:

They previously shared another advance track -"Secret Surprise" - and I'm sharing it with you, to make you want to get this thing when it comes out. This one starts out with a tougher edge, shouted vocals, but their guitar attack and harmony vocals are in there, too. They create and relieve a lot of tension with this stuff - it's exciting music:

Joanna Gruesome website
Slumberland Records

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Youth Lagoon video for "Raspberry Cane" from Wondrous Bughouse, Fall Tour Dates

Youth Lagoon released Wondrous Bughouse back in the spring (WYMA review here)... at the time, I noted the whimsical atmosphere inspired by the song "Raspberry Cane". Here's a video that was directed by Stephen McNally - and in addition to whimsical, I'd perhaps use "fantasmic" or some such term to describe it. Themes of the album include some pretty heavy metaphysical concepts, and there's definitely an otherworldly quality to this animated short film:

And touring all around the world:

09/05 Portland, OR - MFNW @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
09/06 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
09/07 Missoula, MT - Monk's Bar
09/09 Boulder, CO - Fox Theater *
09/10 Omaha, NE - Waiting Room *
09/11 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall *
09/12 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater *
09/14 Detroit, MI - Laneway Festival
09/16 Washington DC - 9:30 Club *
09/17 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair *
09/19 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge *
09/20 Pittsburgh, PA - Mr Small's *
09/21 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop *
09/22 Lexington, KY - Boomslang Festival
09/24 St Louis, MO - Plush *
09/25 Columbia, MO - Mojo's *
09/26 Indianapolis, IN - Deluxe *
09/27 Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Music Festival
09/28 Champaign, IL - Pygmalion Festival
09/29 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar *
10/02 Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom *
10/04 Los Angeles, CA - First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles *
10/31 Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
11/01 London, UK - Islington Assembly Rooms
11/02 Paris, France - Pitchfork Festival
11/05 Tel Aviv, Israel - Barby
11/07 Barcelona, Spain - Razz 2
11/08 San Sebastian, Spain - Iglesia de Zorroaga
11/09 Madrid, Spain - But
11/10 Santiago, Spain - Capitol
11/12 Orleans, France - Astrolabe
11/13 Strasbourg, France - Laiterie
11/14 Fribourg, Switzerland - Fri-Son
11/15 Berlin, Germany - Prince Charles
11/17 Oslo, Norway - Parkteatret
11/18 Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Medis
11/19 Gothenburg, Sweden - Pustervik
11/20 Copenhagen, Denmark - Pumpehuset
11/23 Utrecht, Holland - Tivoli
11/24 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique/Orangerie    
*With Pure X

Youth Lagoon at Fat Possum

"Dream or Something Like That" by Darren Sylvester

Multi-disciplinary Melbourne artist Darren Sylvester has released track "Dream or Something Like That", and you can stream it below.  The release precedes the October 4 arrival of his second album, Off By Heart via Chapter Music.  The song is a polished slice of indie pop that lures you in and then takes you for a ride as it increases in intensity to a boisterous conclusion.  The lyrics are clever and the promise is makes for the quality of the album is a big one.  And having reviewed Darren's previous work, I'm willing to bet that he delivers on that promise.

The single can be acquired from the appropriate Bandcamp link below.  If you'd like to sample Darren's self-titled first album, hit this link.

Bandcamp for single
Chapter Music

REVIEW: Minks - Tides End

Minks debut LP for Captured Tracks, By the Hedge, attracted descriptions such as shoegaze, fuzz pop and goth pop.  For Tides End, the just released sophomore album, the sound has moved to a brighter, better defined synth/dream pop.  The song structures and the writing is tighter, with the production leaving the hooks at the forefront.  It is a sound that evokes summer, sunny days and starry nights about as well as any sound you've heard lately.  That may not be a vibe always matched by the often darker and more introspective lyrics penned by frontman Sonny Kilfoyle, but for most of us it is the sound rather than the lyrics that make the first, and most lasting impression.

If a Minks fan were inclined to demand another edition of By the Hedge, I suppose Tides End may not be a welcome development.  But I think that approach is unfair.  Ultimately, I think that how one feels about this album depends on how one feels about a new album of '80s-style new wave synth pop.  The writing, performances and production are very good.  And some of the songs hit the excellent standard.  Of course, you will make up your own mind, but for me this album is a welcome album for the final month of summer.  I'm listening to it now as I type it in front of the window with a blue sky and fluffy white clouds in the background, and I think it is the perfect soundtrack for that vision.

If you looked up "summer synth pop song" in the dictionary, it would be appropriate to find a stream pf "Everything's Fine" --

"Painted Indian" --

Here are the official video and stream for album track "Margot"--

Tides End is out now via Captured Tracks.

Captured Tracks

New Ambient/Art Rock Discovery: Atom Eye - The Otolith Sessions

Atom Eye is a project of British artist Elsie Martins, and on her new album, The Otolith Sessions, she is creating a distinctive music built around field recordings with her work on guitar and manipulated tape loops. She's got collaborators on this record: it was mixed and co-produced by James Aparicio (Liars, Spiritualized) and features guest appearances from percussionist Pete Lockett (Björk, David Holmes, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lee Scratch Perry, Primal Scream) and renowned artist and soundtrack composer Simon Fisher Turner whose work includes soundtracks for Derek Jarman's Caravaggio, The Last of England, The Garden and Nadja, as well as a solo career and some time in The The. It's an impressive group she's assembled.

Like a lot of ambient music, it unfolds slowly but unlike a lot of it, this stuff builds to a crescendo in places. It's fairly fascinating. Here's a short trailer as a taste of the record:

The record will be out in November on Forwind Records. There will also be a limited edition cd with "an exquisitely presented book featuring beautiful images and texts eluding to the recording materials, machinery and processes... [which] also encompasses an audio cookbook with recipes for you to create your own magnetic tape experiments."

Atom Eye website

New Alt Folk Discovery: The O's - Thunderdog

The O's are a Dallas, TX-based band playing an upbeat, fairly catchy style of folk music. I might put it somewhere along the Americana continuum between "cowpunk" and bluegrass, with plenty of pop hooks thrown in for good measure. The band is a duo: Taylor Young (acoustic guitar, kick drum) and John Pedigo (banjo) that formed in 2008 - both of them have spent time in other Dallas bands, including the Polyphonic Spree.

Their new album is Thunderdog, and they're heading out across Texas and across the Southwest in support. They've made a free download of "Outlaw" available at this link. The album is apparently named after Young's 36-inch kick drum  - "We would always say that thing could 'Thunderdog' any crowd we played in front of," Pedigo says. "Thunderdogging is a blazing of our own trail," comments Pedigo.  "So, the deal behind naming our album that is creating our own path with the record, and with the new record label.  There aren't any rules.  We're just thunder-dogging our own way through it all."

Here's a live video of them playing "Outlaw":

They draw comparisons to the Avett Brothers, but I like the O's vocals a little better than the Avetts. I find the music charming, and this record very refreshing and entertaining - just honest, heartfelt, raucous, creative music from a couple of guys who clearly take a lot of pride in their work... with good reason.

Upcoming tour dates:
8/17/11 - Love and War in Texas (Dead Air Launch Party!) - Plano, TX
8/23/11 - Live Oak Music Hall - Fort Worth, TX
8/26/11 - Club Congress w/ The Polyphonic Spree - Tucson, AZ
8/27/11 - Crescent Ballroom w/ The Polyphonic Spree - Phoenix, AZ
8/29/11 - Fitzgeralds w/ The Polyphonic Spree - Houston, TX
8/30/11 - Venue TBA - San Antonio, TX
9/07/11 - Grand Stafford Theater - Bryan , TX
9/14/11 - Dia De Los Toadies (Panther Island Pavilion) - Ft. Worth, TX

The O's Website

"Tourist" from Leisure

"Tourist" is the debut single from east London's Leisure.  It has a good melody, hot R&B vocals and a relaxed vibe.  And I very much like the throbbing bass line.  And the band has made it available via the fine London label Young and Lost Club's digital club (see Soundcloud stream below).

Here is the Soundcloud stream from Young and Lost Club with a download link --

Leisure was formed in 2012.  Its members are Beth Horak-Hallett, Nick Taylor, Jon Mason, and Anya Pearson.

Leisure on Facebook
Young and Lost Club

Friday Nuggets - "Tin Soldier" The Small Faces

We have left Denmark and the family arrived this week in London, certainly one of the great rock'n'roll cities in the world.

While the American garage bands of the 1960's loved and imitated the British Invasion bands, the British rock bands loved the American R&B and soul bands.  The import/export market worked very very well and all borders were open.

It is damn hard to pick one London band or one London song. But we're going with one you might not but should know: "Tin Soldier" by The Small Faces:

"Tin Soldier" was released in 1967. It was written and sung by the great vocalist Steve Marriott. Mojo Magazine picked it as one of the top 10 British rock singles of all time.  While beloved in the UK, it was inexplicably not a big hit in the US.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Red Belly Roadhouse Blues" by Mouth Tooth

Max Turner (also of Smile) and Rhys Mitchell named their psyche/dream pop project Mouth Tooth.  Their first record, The Group Therapy EP, was released in April, and they have just released the video for the fifth and final track, "Red Belly Roadhouse Blues".  Being frugal Melbourne lads, they didn't spend their entire fortune on the production of the video.  But in addition to its humor and charm, and it showcases a very nice song.


And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that The Group Therapy EP is available for "name your price", so this is your chance to own a bit of Mouth Tooth.  You can stream the entire EP in the player below.  If you want some relaxing music, it is well worth your time.

Bandcamp for The Group Therapy EP

REVIEW: Bare Mutants - The Affliction

I've been hoping for an album from Chicago's Bare Mutants since their wonderful Without You 7", released by Hozac in early 2012.  Consisting of "Without You" and "Inside My Head", it announced the arrival of a band exploring the potential of rock played at a slower tempo, with the dynamics fleshed out by chord changes, garage rock-style organ and baritone lead vocals (supplemented at times with female vocals).  Tension builds over the course of most of the songs, exploding into release with pounding percussion and a wall of sound.  I suppose it isn't for everyone, and it certainly departs from the noisy, hook-filled psyche-rock of frontman Jered Gummere's previous band, The Ponys.  But I liked it from the first listen and, to my ears, The Affliction delivers on the promise I found in the 7".

Genre tagging The Affliction is a slippery business.  There is too much melody and adornment to be drone rock.  With the deep vocals high in the mix and the authoritative guitar and drum lines it doesn't qualify as dream pop in any usual sense (although it may be its own new strain of dream pop).  And a delightful playfulness is evident on several tracks, particularly the bouncy "Nothing is Gold" and "Cunt", both of which present vocal interplay between Jered and Jeanine (O'Toole, of the 1900s).

The album begins with "Without You", presenting a carefully constructed surge of fuzz and percussion.  Similar approaches are found in "Crying With Bob", "I Suck At Life" and "Inside My head", although each track has its individual personality.

Here are the fuzzy delights of the faster-paced "Growing" --

Despite its name, this track has the feel of an old-time country duet.  Album closer "Scars" has a bit of a country feel to my ears as well.

Bare Mutants are Jered on guitar and vocals, Seth on bass, Matt on drums, Leslie on organ, and Jeanine on vocals and percussion.  The Affliction is out now via In The Red.

In The Red Records

REVIEW: Big Deal - June Gloom

Two names that invite judgement -- Big Deal is the name of the band, and June Gloom is the name of the album.  In my view, the first name is pretty accurate, and the second?  Just a joke, because there is nothing gloomy about this record.

Big Deal is a London-based duo consisting of Californian Kacey Underwood and Brit Alice Costelloe.  Their first album was a more stripped down affair.  But for June Gloom they add a bass and drums to the electric and acoustic guitars, and adorn their songs with aggressive alt rock riffs and power pop driven melodies.  And the songwriting here is very good.  Big Deal isn't content to throw out a few riffs and fuzz their way through a melody with sweet male/female vocals.  The songs are dynamic and memorable, and any number of them could be in rotation on the radio, if anyone listened to indie rock on the radio.  Take a test drive in your car, I mean, a test drive of the sweet sound of "In Your Car" --

On formerly released single "Teradactol" the band proves adept on the shoegaze end of the spectrum.  But Underwood and Costelloe put their personal stamp on the genre with a song structure and vocal track that is more indie pop, resulting in a song that simply has more personality than the usual shoegaze fare.

Big Deal's pop vocabulary includes '90s dream pop as well.  I'm particularly fond of "Dream Machines" --

June Gloom is out now on Mute.  While it hasn't been ignored, it also hasn't attracted a lot of attention.  I suspect that part of the problem is that some music writers don't like pumping up indie pop with sweet male/female vocals (unless it contains Cults levels of darkness).  I don't share that aversion.  I like variety and I'm not the least bit shy to say that I like pop music.  June Gloom is an album that will make you feel good about music, and that is a very good thing.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NEW SONG: Lee Ranaldo and The Dust - "Lecce, Leaving" from Last Night On Earth, out Oct 8

Matador Records follows up the very successful release of Chelsea Light Moving's album with more goodness from another former Sonic Youth member: the announcement of Last Night On Earth, the debut album from the newly formed band of Lee Ranaldo and The Dust, the guitarist's follow up to his 2012 album Between The Times and The Tides.

Completing The Dust's line up are Alan Licht, Steve Shelley and Tim Luntzel, who today share the opening track 'Lecce, Leaving'. The album will be released on October 8th, followed by European tour dates in November.

Here's the song - tour dates below:

On tour in Europe:
10th Groningen - Vera, Holland
11th Hamburg - Kampnagel, Germany
12th Berlin - TBC, Germany
13th Cologne - Gebaude 9, Germany
14th Metz - acoustic show at Le Musée de la Cour d'Or, France
15th Metz - Caveau des Trinitaires - Musique Volante Festival, France
16th Barcelona - Barts, Spain
17th Lausanne - Le Romandie, Switzerland
18th Feyzin - Epicerie Moderne, France
20th Villeneuve d'Asq - Festival Tour de Chauffe at La Ferme d'en Haut, France
21st London - The Garage
22nd ATP Festival at Camber Sands
23rd Paris - Boulogne Billancourt  - BB Mix Festival, France
25th Poitiers - Confort Moderne, France
26th Tours - Temps Machine, France

"Drove Down" by Full Ugly

Life isn't always straightforward.  Some things that are labeled ugly, aren't ugly.  For example, Melbourne band Full Ugly.  And while we are on that topic, I'll point out that Bedroom Suck Records doesn't suck.  At all.  Of course, opinions should be backed up.  So here is "Drove Down", a decidedly un-ugly tune with catchy hooks, country-tinged vocals and delightful chord progressions.  And it is out on Bedroom Suck Records.  The physical 7" will be available in September (pre-order here).  If I understand correctly, an album is in the works, and I will boldly predict that it will neither be ugly nor suck.  There, I said it and you can hold my feet to the fire on it.

Bedroom Suck Records

Review: Mark Mulcahy - Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You

That the fine release from Mark MulcahyDear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You, hasn't received more buzz is one of the shames of 2013 in music.  In my opinion, the man is a brilliant songwriter.  He writes with passion, insight, wry observation and offbeat wit.  And he is more that confident enough to make a song more memorable by throwing a few surprises into the structure of the song.  Lyrically, he takes on the role of the street poet, commenting on life with succinct but colorful verbal snapshots.  At one point he refers to a woman as being able to "get milk from a crowbar".  In the album opener he advises "Set your own speed, man/Drive like you’ll vanish/Sometimes you can’t get around/And that’s when you smash, smash, smash”.   But you don't have to rely on my opinion, Mark's songwriting chops have been praised by Michael Stipe, Thom Yorke, Matt Berninger, Black Francis and Nick Hornby.

Beyond songwriting, however, Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You demonstrates how good Mulcahy is as a vocalist.  The range is good, but the magic isn't in the range.  It is in the phrasing, tone and emotional charge.  At times his voice reminds me of a more resonant version of '60s soul rocker Terry Reid.  And I mean that as a high compliment.

The album, which was released by Fire Records in June, covers multiple themes, and well-showcases the variety of styles Mark commands.  From the bluesy roadhouse rock of album opener "I Taketh Away" to the sublime pop song that many of us think is at the top to the collection, "Bailing Out On Everything Again", to the folky waltz "Badly Madly" to the country influenced "My Rose Colored Friend" to the upbeat indie rock of "Poison Candy Heart" (which likely will remind you of Spoon, in a good way).  It is meaty, entertaining and, quite simply, great music.  There is no doubt in my mind that it will be on my year-end list of best albums.

Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You is out now on Fire Records (UK and Euro) and The Mezzotint Label (US).

Fire Records
The Mezzotint Label

Reverberation Radio #75

The folks at Reverberation Radio have mined more musical gems for us.  This week's selection include 60's  psychedelic garage out of Kansas, contemporary garage rock from Milan, a Brasilian who has spent the past 50 years alternating between pop star and serious jazz artist, a cut from the Bee Gee's greatest album  - 1969's Odessa (listen to the entire album here), the godfather of Turkish rock, 70's Spanish diva a pop super star Jeanette, Eddie Grant's (Electric Avenue) first band the Equals, southern blue-eyed soul royalty Joe South.  Click on the links if you want to learn more about the individual artists.

1. The Blue Things - High Life

2. Bristols - She’s Gone Away

3. Chico Buarque - Funeral De Um Lavrador (Alt. Version)

4. The PeΔrls - Shine A Light

5. Bee Gees - Never Say Never Again (Demo Version)
6. Erkin Koray - Cumbar Cemaat
7.  Jeanette- Por Que Te Vas?
8. Equals - Can’t Find A Girl To Love Me
9. Arthur Joly - Os Sete Banditos
10. PEAKING LIGHTS - Hey Sparrow
11. Joe South - Untie Me

"Crazy", debut from Model Aeroplanes

Around 18 years old with the world to conquer, Dundee, Scotland's Model Aeroplanes play energetic guitar pop that may remind the listener of Born Ruffians, Bombay Bicycle Club and even Vampire Weekend.  Their first proper single, "Crazy", will be released digitally on September 16, and it is packed with hooks and riffs that likely, and justifiably, will earn them fans.  More of their songs can be found on their Soundcloud page (link below) and the evidence says that they have the talent to back up the buzz from the single.  We'll be watching; and listening.

Model Aeroplanes are Ben Buist (bass), Grant Irvine (guitar), Kieran Smith (drums) and Rory Fleming-Stewart  (vocals/guitar).  They will be touring the UK this fall.


NEW SONG: Dead Professional - "Downtown at Sundown"

Dead Professional is John Harouff, a Virginia-based one man band playing an intriguing cross between New Wave minimalism and guitar rock with a bit of country/rockabilly twang. He's got a good voice for this type of music, and obvious talent in putting it together.

Here's "Downtown at Sundown":

And here's a previous track, "Don't Be Cruel" (no it's not a cover, but a very well-realized original). It's well-produced, the double-tracked harmony vocals are nice and it's got a good combination of guitars and keyboards over a strong bass line.:

Read a little more, and follow at his sites:

Dead Professional website

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NEW SONG: Porches - "Headsgiving" from Slow Dance In The Cosmos (out Aug 27)

From the forthcoming album Slow Dance In The Cosmos (due Aug 27), Porches, the project of Aaron Maine and members Cameron Wisch (drums), Greta Kline (bass/backing vox), Kevin Farrant (guitar), Seiya Jewell (keyboard) has made this song available as a taste of what's to come:

It's high-quality singer/songwriter rock along the lines of Richard Buckner, Neil Young, Kurt Vile... stuff like that. Looking forward to hearing the whole album, which is available for pre-order at Bandcamp now.

Speaking of Bandcamp, here's a heavy guitar track crammed full of electric guitar feedback and mournful vocals, "Skinny Trees":

It's going to be on Exploding in Sound Records.

Porches Facebook

REVIEW: The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-76

New from the Omnivore Recordings team is an exploration of Deep South soul music, The South Side Of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976. Minaret was a label formed in Nashville, but moved to Florida, where it operated for the duration of its lifetime. This 2 CD, 40 track collection gathers all of the A-s and B-s of Minaret’s output for the very first time. Many of these tracks have been out of print for a long time and very much in demand.

Artists featured on here include the great soul singer Big John Hamilton, whose tracks include the Fenton Robinson-esque "The Train" and several cuts that wouldn't be out of place among the ouevres of Otis Redding or Wilson Pickett. There's Genie Brooks, who's got a little bit more of a James Brown feel to his voice and a strong gospel-style backing, as well as fine piano and twangy Southern guitar licks. The overall feel of this set is mid-60's Southern soul music, and anybody who loves Stax and Muscle Shoals music and is yet unfamiliar with the likes of Big John Hamilton (who sings on about half this collection and is credited as a writer on more than that), will find this a true delight.

In addition to the soul ballads, and some heavy soul revue fare (like a killer duet cover of Buddy Miles' "Them Changes" featuring Hamilton and Doris Allen), there's some mid-70's funk, and it's very well done, with the thumping bass and chicken-scratch guitar that characterizes the best of that genre. On the first disc, "Sewanee Strut" is a good example of that, and on the second record, "Double Funk" from LRL and the Dukes (Leroy Lloyd is credited as the writer):

The second disc then closes with two more Hamilton cuts, "I've Got to Get Myself Somebody" and "Free Me" - familiar soul sentiments rendered in a familiar soul music format by a formidable vocalist with a superb backing band. If you're a crate-digger, maybe you already have some of this, but it's unlikely anybody has it all. That's what makes this latest Omnivore offering such good news. It's out this week (Aug 13).

Omnivore Recordings website

NEW VIDEO: Bleached - "Searching Through the Past" from Ride Your Heart (and on tour through fall 2013)

California surf/punk/doo-wop duo Bleached released Ride Your Heart back in April, and it's one of my favorite records of 2013 (WYMA review here). They've released a few videos and have another one out this week for "Searching Through the Past".

Don't know what is my favorite thing about this song. The vocal sure is terrific... it's got just a bit of a country/rockabilly lilt to it and they sort of drew back on the reverb that's present on a lot of the other songs. The guitars? Heck yeah, especially the little solo at about 1:45 or so. The way they play together and seem to really enjoy one another's company? I suspect that informs the music more than is apparent at first glance... they clearly love what they're doing and it shows all over.

Here's a nice little lyric/picture video you can enjoy while you decide what's your favorite thing about it. Let me know.

They've got US and European tour dates coming up - starting this week. Read more and listen at their sites.

Bleached website
Dead Oceans

"Melt" from Chet Faker (feat. Kilo Kish)

Chet Faker is the name used by Australian Nicholas Murphy.  It seems that he has a background in house and disco, and a love of soulful singing.  On his Chet Faker project, he slows down the tempo and combines the genres to good effect.  "Melt" is a sexy track that showcases Murphy's style and the vocal contributions of Kilo Kish.  "Melt" will be available as a download single soon.


Songs for Slim Aug 15 Auction: Young Fresh Fellows b/w Patterson Hood - "Loud Loud Loud Loud Guitars" b/w "Hate This Town"

This week brings another auction in the Songs For Slim Series, and this time it involves Scott McCaughey and the Young Fresh Fellows covering Slim's "Loud Loud Loud Loud Guitars" on one side, and Patterson Hood & The Downtown Rumblers covering "Hate This Town".

Here's Slim's version of "Hate This Town":

Learn more, and get in the auction, at this link. You will also find at that site, under "Releases", links to buy digital versions of the previous songs in the series, including the Replacements EP JD reviewed in March (WYMA review here). Once the auction is over, these two tracks should be up on iTunes, too. All profits going to Slim's benefit.

God bless these guys, they're doing great work, showing what's possible when the artistic impulse collides with generosity. Bid this sucker way up on Thursday.

NEW SONG: Diane Coffee (Shaun Fleming of Foxygen) - "Hymn" (Album My Friend Fish out in fall)

Shaun Fleming is a California native, and former Disney child actor who, after joining Foxygen, moved to NYC, squeezed himself into a 700-square foot apartment with two roommates, got very ill, and then immersed himself in a musical project that reflects all the dislocation you might expect to result. Foxygen's We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic is one of my favorite albums of the year (WYMA review here), but pinning it down is not as easy as just listening to it. Likewise with Fleming's solo work as Diane Coffee. This is the first song from an upcoming album My Friend Fish (due out in the fall). This is a really pretty track, reflecting a lot of the elements that make Foxygen so compelling: lush sounds (including plenty of guitar reverb) combined with sparse interludes, and the dizzying tempo changes that keep listeners, if not on their toes, at least up a ways in their seats:

Oct 29 – New York, NY • Pianos
Nov 2 – Austin, TX • Red 7 w/ Those Darlins
Nov 5 – Phoenix, AZ • the Rhythm Room w/ Those Darlins
Nov 7 – Los Angeles, CA • the Echo w/ Those Darlins
Nov 8 – Santa Ana, CA • the Constellation Room w/ Those Darlins
Nov 13 – San Francisco, CA • the Chapel w/ Those Darlins
Nov 15 – Seattle, WA • Barboza w/ Those Darlins
Nov 16 – Portland, OR • Bunk Bar w/ Those Darlins
Nov 19 – Denver, CO • Hi-Dive w/ Those Darlins
Nov 21 – Kansas City, MO • the Record Bar w/ Those Darlins
Nov 22 – Carbondale, IL • Hangar 9 w/ Those Darlins
Nov 23 – Louisville, KY • the Zanzabar w/ Those Darlins

Diane Coffee Facebook

Monday, August 12, 2013

"30 Past 7" from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

My single pick for today is "30 Past 7" from Australian psychedelic rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.  This is the first single from their September 2013 album LP Float Along - Fill Your Lungs which will be release on the Flightless and Dot Dash/Remote Control labels.  It can be pre-ordered at the Remote Control link below.

Featuring a sitar, psychedelic guitars, hazy synths and tripped-out vocals, the single is a psyche-rock fan's delight.  There aren't many bands that do the heavy psychedelic sound like this anymore, and very few that do it this well.  The stream and video are below.

Remote Control Records

LIVE SOUNDTRACK: On Fillmore to Provide Live Soundtrack for Radiolab Tour

On Fillmore will be providing a live soundtrack for WNYC's Radiolab's "Apocalyptical" tour. Radiolab writes that the tour will "turn its gaze to the topic of endings, both blazingly fast and agonizingly slow... the evening will be a thought-provoking and laughter-inducing dance on the grave of our inevitable demise." Listen to Radiolab's hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich announce the tour on a special episode of Radiolab, HERE.

On Fillmore, consisting of Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche and bassist Darin Gray, will team up with Noveller to provide the soundtrack for all dates, which you can find listed below. Kotche and Gray have been recording together for years, building atmospheric music out of field recordings. It's intriguing stuff, and any fans of Radiolab will have no trouble imagining how these two creative forces will meld together to create evenings of sheer genius.

Click here to listen to On Fillmore's song "Master Moon" from their most recent album Extended Vacation- and here is the video:

"Master Moon" by On Fillmore from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

Note that this is not an On Fillmore concert, playing previously-recorded songs. They will be providing a live soundtrack, and on evidence of their creativity, expectations are high.

10/03/13- Columbus, OH- Palace Theatre
10/04/13- Cleveland, OH- State Theatre
10/05/13- Toronto, ON- Song Centre for the Performing Arts
10/07/13- Ann Arbor, MI- Michigan Theatre
10/08/13- Detroit, MI- Music Hall
10/11/13- Milwaukee, WI- Riverside Theatre
10/12/13- Chicago, IL- Chicago Theatre
10/21/13- Nashville, TN- Andrew Jackson Hall- TPAC
10/22/13- Atlanta, GA- Cobb Energy PAC
10/24/13- New York, NY- Beacon Theatre
10/26/13- Boston, MA- Wang Theatre
10/28/13- Hartford, CT- Mortensen Hall- Bushnell Center
11/01/13- Denver, CO- Paramount Theatre
11/02/13- Denver, CO- Paramount Theatre
11/04/13- Dallas, TX- Verizon Theatre @ Grand Praire
11/05/13- Austin, TX- Bass Concert Hall
11/06/13- Houston, TX- Jones Hall
11/12/13- Oakland, CA- Paramount Theatre
11/13/13- Cupertino, CA- Flint Center for the Performing Arts
11/14/13- Los Angeles, CA- Saban Theatre
11/15/13- Los Angeles, CA- Saban Theatre
11/19/13- Portland, OR- Keller Auditorium
11/21/13- Seattle, WA- Paramount Theatre
11/22/13- Seattle, WA- Paramount Theatre

Learn more about the tour or buy tickets here.

On Fillmore website
Dead Oceans Records

REVIEW: The Love Language - Ruby Red

The Love Language's third album Ruby Red is full, rich and varied in its approach to pop music. The band consists of Stuart McLamb, his (in the words of the Merge press release) "engineer/case worker/boxing coach" BJ Burton and a large cast of co-conspirators, many of whom contributed remotely. McLamb's got a reputation as a perfectionist, and the evidence is all over this album. It's full of classic rock and pop sounds, a combination of new wave style, garage rock, catchy pop and in places an almost Spectorish, wall of sound rhythm section. Some of the tracks, like "Knots" and "Izzy" explore a variety of string and synth sounds to sort of swell it up.

The album starts out rocking - here's the upbeat opening song "Calm Down" (and a new video, released just about a week ago by Merge):

Another rocking cut is "Faithbreaker" - probably my favorite track on the record, with its insistent drumbeat, George Harrison slide guitar and full, reverb-laden vocals. Along with "Calm Down" and the big, sort of "everything goes" closing song "Pilot Light", the upbeat stuff is well-placed within the sequence of the album. "Pilot Light" carries the 70's pop/rock theme to its logical conclusion and serves as evidence of McLamb and Burton's songcraft:

It's out now (released July 23 on Merge Records), and you can listen and learn more at The Love Language's website, Facebook or Merge Records website. And they'll be back out on the road in a week or so:

The Love Language on tour:
Aug 27 Nashville, TN – Stone Fox
Aug 28 St. Louis, MO – Firebird
Aug 29 Chicago, IL – Schuba’s
Aug 30 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
Aug 31 Kansas City, MO — Czar Bar w/ Schwervon
Sep 01 Omaha, NE — O'Leaver's
Sep 02 Denver, CO – Hi Dive
Sep 03 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Sep 04 Boise, ID Neurolux ^
Sep 05 Portland, OR – MusicFest NW
Sep 06 Eugene, OR – Cozmic Pizza %
Sep 08 Seattle, WA – Neumos %
Sep 10 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw w/ Bleeding Rainbow
Sep 11 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Bar
Sep 12 San Diego, CA — Soda Bar ^
Sep 13 Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock w/ Soft Metals
Sep 14 Tucson, AZ — Club Congress
Sep 16 Austin, TX – Mohawk – Inside ^
Sep 17 Dallas, TX – Club Dada
Sep 18 Houston, TX – Mango’s
Sep 19 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
Sep 20 Atlanta, GA — Masquerade w/ Man Man
# w/ Eternal Summers
* w/ The Critters
% w/ The Dodos
^ w/ On An On

The Love Language website
Merge Records

"(I Don't Mean to) Wonder" by Black Hearted Brother

Yes, we all have noticed a resurgence in shoegaze.  Some of it is good, a bit of it is very good, and some of it leaves me a bit fuzzed out (and not in a good way).  But one interesting aspect of the movement is the return of some of the old pros.  Of course, we all are aware that My Bloody Valentine has returned to their fans' great joy.  However, I'm here to write about another band.  The name, Black Hearted Brother, is new.  But when Neil Halstead puts down the acoustic that he has wielded to my great pleasure for the past half decade or so (see Oh Mighty Engine and Palidrome Hunches) and takes up the electric, we have the return of an accomplished shoegaze pro.  Halstead was the guitarist and vocalist for Slodive and Mohave 3.  In Black Hearted Brother he is joined by Mark Van Hoen of Seefeel, Locust and Scala, and Nick Holton of Holton's Opulent Oog and Coley Park.  The trio has recorded Stars Are Our Home, which will be released in late October via Slumberland Records in the US and Sonic Cathedral in the UK.  The first taste of the new album is here, and you can stream it below.  It seems to me that the Neil, Mark and Nick are pulling the stops out and letting their instincts direct the music without tight boundaries.  They are pros -- Trust them.

Slumberland Records
Sonic Catherdral

Kill the Captains - Sounds Mean

Kill the Captains aren't pulling punches with Sounds Mean.  On offer are eight tracks of experimental, genre-bending rock and roll.  One track will deliver pop rock, another post punk or psychedelic rock, yet another experimental pop.  But it is energetic, fun, and eminently danceable.  The production is well-balanced among the instruments and vocals, which gives the album a fittingly big, bold sound.  The songs run a bit longer than the average pop record and, along with some style changes mid-track, there is a bit of a jam feel to the proceedings.  But the pace and performance ensure that the songs never have worn out their welcome before the close.

Given the scope of the material, it is difficult to provide representative tracks, so I have elected to give you a few of the different styles.  I encourage you to stream the entire album at the Bandcamp link below.  In the meantime, here is the pop opening track --

The first single is "Disco Nazi", which features a wonderful bassline, electronic blasts and distorted vocals --

"Safety Words" is an angular post-punk track with solid pop credentials, and is my current favorite on the album --

Kill the Captains are Leon Carter, Bic Booth, Giles Robinson, and Paul Collins, and they are from Sheffield.  Sounds Mean is out now on Glasgow's fine Armellodie Records.

Armellodie Records

Nudie Cohn - Haberdasher to the Stars.

Today is country star Porter Wagoner's birthday.  He would have been 87.  Wagoner is known as the man who discovered Dolly Parton.  Porter and Dolly are one of the greatest country duets of all time - right up there with Tammy and George. As I watched the following clip, I was reminded of his iconic look - pompadour and a flashy suit by Nudie Cohn.

Nudie Cohn (December 15, 1902 to May 9, 1984) was born Nuta Kotlyarenko in Kiev, Ukraine. Nudie is famous for his "Nudie Suits" and "Nudie Mobiles", outrageous customized Pontiac Bonnevilles.  Customers of "Nudies of Hollywood" included Roy Rogers and Jane Evans, Hank Williams, John Lennon, John Wayne, ZZ Top, and Porter Wagoner. Wagoner had 52 suits costing between $11,000 and $18,000 apiece. "Nudie Suits" told the C&W world that you had arrived.  The pictures will tell the rest of the story.

Nudie Mobile


Bob Dylan's "Jesus Jacket"

Gram Parsons

Elton John

Waylon Jennings

Flying Burrito Brothers

Buck Owens