Friday, August 21, 2015

"Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party" by Courtney Barnett


"Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party" is the latest single from Courtney Barnett's wonderful recent album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Think.  We could just give you and audio stream, but we have something much, much better: A video of Barnett and her band performing the song outside the Camden tube station in London.  So, enjoy the video and check out the tour dates below to see if you get lucky.



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WORLD TOUR DATES
8.21.15 - Pukkelpop - Hasselt, Belgium
8.22.15 - Lowlands 2015 - Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
8.23.15 - Green Man Festival - Wales, UK
10.20.15 - Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, CA *
10.21.15 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
10.23.15 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY *
10.29.15 - Club Quattro - Umeda, Japan
10.30.15 - Liquid Room - Shibuya, Japan
11.05.15 - Bodega - Wellington, New Zealand
11.06.15 - St. James - Auckland, New Zealand
11.07.15 - Foundry - Christchurch, New Zealand
11.21.15 - Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof - Berlin, Germany
11.23.15 - Bürgerhaus Stollwerck - Cologne, Germany
11.25.15 - The Forum - London, UK
11.26.15 - The Forum - London, UK
11.27.15 - Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton, UK
11.29.15 - ATP Festival - Prestatyn, UK
11.30.15 - The Ritz - Manchester, UK
12.01.15 - O2 Academy - Liverpool, UK
12.02.15 - O2 ABC - Glasgow, UK
12.04.15 - O2 Academy - Bristol, UK
12.05.15 - Gaite Lyrique - Paris, France
12.28.15 - 12.31.15 - Falls Festival - Australia
01.07.15 - Astor Theatre - Mount Lawley Wa, Australia
01.08.15 - Southbound Festival - Busselton Wa, Australia
01.16.15 - Enmore Theatre - Newtown, Australia
01.22.15 - Palais Theatre - Melbourne, Australia

* w/ Blur

"King Grudge" by The Legendary House Cats


A few weeks ago we brought to your attention (link) The Legendary House Cats.  The (mostly) solo project of John Girgus (of Aberdeen, Languis and Non Ultra Joy) which explores the intersection of shoegaze, post punk and electronica.  The Cats' latest offering is "King Grudge", written and performed by Girgus and Chris McRitchie.  The arena-sized track explores the rocking side of The Legendary House Cats' sweet spot, and it is a great way to start the day.  Check out the stream below and if you like it, it is $1 at the Bandcamp link.



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Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Pinstripe Pigeon Band - Sound Asleep EP


The Pinstripe Pigeon Band combine pop and electronic with a playful current of funk and hip hop accents.  Their latest offering is the Sound Asleep EP, which was released earlier this month.  It is the sixth record for the band from Preston in Northwest England, and it delivers three bouncy tracks with loads of energy and charm and two more relaxed tunes.  The band's showcase components are their broad and expert instrumentation and Kristy Harvey's vocals.  The album's opening and closing songs are presented below in video form.

Sound Asleep EP is out now as a digital download.





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"Ambitions" by Søren Juul

Søren Juul formerly recorded and performed as Indians, releasing the 2013 Somewhere Else and scoring a key scene in the movie The Fault Is In Our Stars.  After living in the United States for a while he is back home in Denmark and recording under his own name.  On September 4 he will release a self-titled EP via 4AD.  The first song to be shared from the record is "Ambitions".  A work of fragile beauty with unfolding  layers of sound building to a euphoric finish, it suggests that the EP should be on everyone's wish list.



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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Royal Headache - High


My God this is a good music!

I was tempted to have that simple declaration stand as my review, but as a lawyer I am bound by a secret and sacred oath to never let seven words tell the story when I can use many dozen.  And that is fine, because High deserves the time to needed to provide more detailed praise.  If lightning strikes and the pop music world momentarily becomes fair and just, this album will provide Royal Headache with fame and fortune.  While we all suspect that won't happen, you can all do your part and get yourself a copy.  It still won't make the band rich, but the intangible rewards to you will last a long time.

Musically, the band builds on its unique indie rock sound from their debut - punk fury with vocals that bear evidence of both the straining shout of punk and the emotional and sonic range of Memphis soul - by dialing back both the pace and the volume for a few songs.  But make no mistake, while Royal Headache trades in songs with a pop core, the performances are taut, urgent and full-blooded.  Thematically, the album deals with love and relationships.  And it deals with those topics will clear-eyed appreciation for the lust, longing, sadness, uncertainties, fulfillment, and loss that are part of the package.  Supposedly, frontman Shogun has said that the songs are about someone he no longer sees, which adds yet another tone to the emotional charge of the set.

The album begins with the the high voltage "My Own Fantasy".  And if that song about the hollowness of the rock sex-god lifestyle was the only song on the album, followed by twenty minutes of Shogun saying "check" into the mic, I'd still recommend it.  But the truth is that it isn't the best song on the album by a long shot.  In fact, it is rivaled by the urgent plea of the following "Need You", and lapped by the showcase love anthem and title track (stream below).  The chugging "Another World" continues the frenetic pace.

The fifth song, "Wouldn't You Know" provides the album's biggest change of pace.  The mid-tempo arrangement begins with a dusty spaghetti western feel and evolves with cinematic scope while discussing the uncertainty in making a commitment.  But the throbbing and biting "Garbage" brings the volume and fury back to previous levels.  "Love Her If I Tried" is a wonderful dose of garage soul about a failed attempt at a relationship.  Track 8 is "Caroline" (video below).  I love "Caroline" -- it is one of my three favorite songs on the albums and is a pure dose of feel good rock.  "Little Star" is the rebirth of the Buzzcocks (and we could all use some Buzzcocks in our life).  "Electric Shock" is the perfect closing track:  90 seconds of punk aggression and wry commentary.  Lights up, everyone leave the area with their bodies vibrating.

If you are still reading this review rather than playing the clips and buying the album, I have failed a bit here.  I'm going to go drown my sorrows, but before I go, I again urge you to get High.







Royal Headache is Shogun (vocals), Shortty (drums), Law (guitar) and Joe (bass).  High is out now via What's Your Rupture in vinyl, CD and digital formats in most of the world, and on the band's own Distant and Vague label in Australia.  The band currently is touring in North America; the remaining dates are provided below.

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Rough Trade site for UK purchases


REMAINIMG ROYAL HEADACHE TOUR DATES:
Wed. Aug. 19 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle 
Thu. Aug. 20 – Detroit, MI @ UFO 
Fri. Aug. 21 – Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
Sat. Aug. 22 – Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola
Mon. Aug. 24 – Boston, MA @ The Great Scott 
Tue. Aug. 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade 
Thu. Aug. 27 – Baltimore, MD @ Windup Space 
Fri. Aug. 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA 
Sat. Aug. 29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades 

"Otherworldly Pleasures" and "She Takes Me There" by Promised Land Sound

On September 28 Nashville's Promised Land Sound will release For Use And Delight, their second album, via Paradise of Bachelors.  The musical growth of the band's young members is evident on the two album tracks shared below -- "Otherworldly Pleasures" and "She Takes Me There" -- which present a wide range of rootsy psychedelia.





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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"The Past and You" by Expert Alterations

Baltimore trio Expert Alterations graced these pages recently for Slumberland's vinyl release of their self-titled EP (review here).  The band will release their debut LP You Can't Always Be Liked via Kanine Records on October 30.  The fine lead track is a post break up song that eases the impact of bitter recriminations with appealing C-86/Dunedin style jangles with a refreshingly aggressive rhythm section.  This is great stuff and we are looking forward to the album.



Expert Alterations are Patrick Teal (guitar/vocals), Alan Everhart (bass), Paul Krolian (drums).

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Woodpigeon & Norman Blake - Brutish Birds

The delightful singles club wiaiwya-7777777 is releasing their next nugget, Brutish Birds, which brings together the Woodpigeon and Norman Blake.  Woodpigeon is Mark Andrew Hamilton, a Canadian who started out making music in Edinburgh, and also has recorded in Canada and Austria.  I believe he resides in Canada at this time.  Norman Blake is, of course, a founding member of Teenage Fanclub and has been involved with various other projects, including BMX Bandits, Boy Hairdressers.

The music resulting from this collaboration may best be described as '70s California pastoral guitar pop fused with UK folk rock.  The two songs are delicate and measured. with hushed vocals and spare acoustic instrumentation.  But they also have a dark emotional current and intriguing layers.  Both these artists frequently combine with others to create new and interesting music.  We can only hope that the results of this effort prompt them to continue to explore what the relationship can bring to our ears.




The Brutish Birds single is out now via WIAIWYA -- see the Bandcamp link below for details.

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Teenage Fanclub website
Norman Blake on Twitter