Friday, January 29, 2010
Rising post-punk, garage, pyshc, everything rockers The Fresh and Onlys are touring. Again. After releasing approximately a billion 7 inches and LPs last year, across about as many labels, the band is hitting the road to bring utterly great music to everyone. And it's not some simple 10 date tour. Oh no. This is a month-long trek across the US with soon to be label mates King Khan (this time with the Shrines). All this after they just finished recording their third LP, due out on In The Red sometime early this year. Don't not ask me how they are managing all this. They're either going to collapse from exhaustion, or turn into pure energy. Which ever comes first.
(mp3) The Fresh and Onlys-Peacock and Wings (via CHOCOLATE BOBKA)
(mp3) The Fresh and Onlys-Invisible Forces
02/24 San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop (Noise Pop)
03/12 Goleta, CA The Hard To Find Showspace #
03/13 Los Angeles, CA Spaceland #
03/17 - 03/20 Austin, TX SXSW
03/23 Tallahassee, FL The Engine Room %
03/24 Orlando, FL Backbooth %
03/26 Tampa, FL Crowbar %
03/27 Atlanta, GA The Earl &
03/29 Carborro, NC Cat's Cradle &
03/30 Asheville, NC Orange Peel &
03/31 Chattanooga, TN JJ's Bohemia &
04/01 Nashville, TN Exit In &
04/02 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone Cafe &
04/03 Birmingham, AL Bottletree &
04/05 Austin, TX Emo's Alternative Lounge Outside &
04/06 Dallas, TX Sons of Hermann Hall &
04/08 Denver, CO Bluebird &
04/09 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge &
04/10 Boise, ID Neurolux &
04/11 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom &
04/12 Vancouver, BC Venue &
04/13 Seattle, WA Neumos &
04/15 San Francisco, CA Bimbo's 365 Club &
# = w/ Wounded Lion
% = w/ Woven Bones
& = w/ King Khan & The Shrines
The Fresh and Onlys on Myspace
Woodsist Records (semi-current label)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What’s great about Carrie Nations is how they’re willing to stretch the boundaries of the genre and come out as original. The lyrics are based on self-deprecation, hating the world, and girls as usual for pop-punk. However, there’s a Pavement influence on them, warping them into cryptic puzzles for you to solve over the days. There is also a late 80’s collage rock/ early 90’s alt rock influence on the guitar work, making the riffs more angular and buzzy than normal. Plus the band isn’t afraid to stretch out the songs, exploring the great sounding outros into hyper, mini-solos. This very prominent on the A side with tracks like “Mangum” which reaches Ergs level of perfection.
This is a great tribute to a fallen band and more of these should be put out, along with the sick cover art. This is absolutely essential pop-punk in my mind. Only 500 copies, so go get it now.
(mp3) Carrie Nations-TriCounty Vampire
Carrie Nations Myspace (Deficient)
Buy it Now, At Stankhouse Records
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The best way to describe this EP is that Benjamin Shaw literally took sections of his life and turned it into this album. Every sound and noise was created only by Shaw himself (which is pretty unbelievably), along with the EP art, and even the horribly scrawled (in a good way) lyric page. Heck, he probably put in the staples to the cover sleeve. But this is all done for a specific reason, that being to teleport you into the mind of Benjamin Shaw.
Like most acoustic-based music, there is a level of sadness and longing in the record. Ok, there is a HUGE level of sadness and longing, but that doesn’t make the EP any less great. It’s sweet, it will make you laugh, it might bring a tear to your eye, and will tap into a magnitude of other emotions that you may or may not have experienced in your life. And it’s not just the lyrics, but the instrumentation that adds to the uniqueness of the EP. No other folk record in recent mind has had this level of fuzz or experimentalism to it that this one has. Take the opening track "Thanks for All the Biscuits" which opens with a sound collage of sorts of people’s voices under a humming sound effect before opening to a sweet sounding guitar and a song about wanting to be with your loved one before diving back into the sound collage for the ending. However, it just gets worse for poor Benjamin from there. He is separated from his love on "12,000 Sentinels" with just a wobbly piano keys to guide his tale. The tale told on "Chocolate Girl" is just deeply sad and few songs transfer the longing of the author as well as this one and the brass that comes in rises it to unbelievable heights. "When I Fell Over the City" is the comic relief song . . . for the listener. For Shaw it’s pretty brutal self-deprecation with the line "there’s a fine line between talented and me" being the song’s course, with a jangly and uplifting guitar and melody to keep it partly hidden. The centerpiece of the EP comes at the very end though with "I’ve Got the Pox, the Pox is What I Got". A 10 minute opus it contains Shaw’s best twisted lyrics about longing and loving yet in the first part before flowing into a sea of static, and emerging later to a new depressing song at the other end. Shaw is so good though, it goes by in a mental 2 minutes.
In this internet age, it’s hard for someone to come out of just about absolutely nowhere and pull something like this off right under the noses of everyone. It balances sadness with humor, bleakness with hope. Shaw may be laughing, but it’s with a mouth of blood, and I think he likes it like that.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
A Few Side Notes: I am sucking up to no one in this post. All these blogs are great and deserve to be read by as many music fans as possible. Also, I only considered BLOGS for the post, so that ‘s why great candidates like Off Tempo or Daytrotter aren’t listed. Finally, this is the first of many upcoming 2009 end-of-year posts, so expect more on the way.
10. CHOCOLATE BOBKA-True, everyone in NYC probably either reads this blog or goes to one of their many hosted shows. But for those outside that magical realm, start reading now. CHOCOLATE BOBKA is not only great because of how ahead of the curve they are on practically everything, but all the different genres they cover as well.
9. Look at Me, I Made a Blog- Yes, there hasn’t been a post in almost three months (I hear she got a radio show that’s keeping her busy), but while it was posting, I Made a Blog made some really great posts. The name alone should tell you how uncoincide the author was. Her concert reviews were/are always something to look forward to and I can only hope she come back soon.
8. Weekly Tape Deck-The only Texas blog to make the list, but it made the list for good reason. It's really, really good. A few short posts a day is all it takes for this site to guide me to my next mp3 obsession or insanely bizarre music video they manage to dig up. There track record for finding great 7 inches is also almost unmatched on the web.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The always, and I mean always, great Los Campesinos! have been kind enough to offer their fans a stream of their entire new album Romance is Boring on their Myspace page, more than likely to combat the recently leaked album.
Romance is Boring 7" Single
Monday, January 18, 2010
Will I ever shut up about Best Coast? Probably not. Pop Tarts Suck Toasted have The Antlers, I have Best Coast. That’s why I was so excited to learn she was releasing yet another song/single to the world. Admittedly, this song has been floating around since last year in a demo form, but now it has been perfected, and with what I believe is another added verse. It has a great Where the Boys Are cassette feel to it i.e. little percussion and just Bethany singing and strumming her uber-distorted guitar to lo-fi surf pop perfection, which is something I’ve missed slightly from her newer releases. This is just a great single, and with the rate the pre-orders went by, I don’t expect this to last. Wait at your own risk.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Proving that the music world still has good taste, and that the new lo-fi movement isn’t going away soon, Best Coast has two more singles in the works. The first is a split with fellow California band Jeans Wilder on French label Atelier Ciseaux, due out on January 18. The pre-order is over, so wake up early to get a copy. Another 3 song single on PPM is due out on February 9 .
Also, Best Coast has set up here first major tour with who else but fellow lo-fi queens Vivian Girl. It is only for the west coast, but plans to come to SXSW have been announced as well.
1. Something in the Way
2. Wish He Was You
3. The Road
(mp3) Best Coast-Something the Way
02-04 San Diego, CA - Casbah*
03-17-20 Austin, TX- SXSW
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I know I do not usually post about individual songs, but like I said I plan to do more, and different posts this year. And this song was way to catchy to pass up. Happy Birthday is the a new project started by King Tuff AKA Kyle Thomas along with Chris Weisman and Ruth Garbus. While King Tuff has a very nice garage feel to their lo-fi, Happy Birthday instead have a more polished 70s pop feel to them, still with that lo-finess hidden underneath. "Girls FM", however, is still just as addictive as anything that King Tuff has made, in that wonderful California sound that keeps building these days. Think Girls meets garage rock plus a little girls group influence sprinkled on.
(mp3) Happy Birthday-Girls FM (via GvB)
Happy Birthday's debut, Happy Birthday, is due out March 16 on Sub Pop. Definitely keep your eyes open when it drops.
Also, for the uninformed, King Tuff as a great cassette out on Burger Records called Was Dead for only $6. It can be bought here.
Happy Birthday Myspace
Happy Birthday Page on Sub Pop
King Tuff Myspace
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Spoon Tour Dates:
02-14 Glasgow, Scotland - King Tut's
02-15 Manchester, England - Academy 3
02-16 London, England - Electric Ballroom
02-18 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02-19 Cologne, Germany - Luxor
02-20 Berlin, Germany - Frannz Club
03-17 Austin, TX - Stubbs (NPR SXSW showcase) %
03-18 New Orleans, LA - Republic %@
03-19 Birmingham, AL - Workplay Soundstage %@
03-20 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle %@
03-22 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %@
03-23 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %@
03-24 Richmond, VA - The National %@
03-26 New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall %@
03-27 Boston, MA - House of Blues %@
03-29 Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy %@
03-30 Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theater %@
04-01 Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom %^
04-02 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue %^
04-03 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue %^
04-05 Denver, CO - Ogden Theater %^
04-06 Denver, CO - Ogden Theater %^
04-07 Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue %^
04-09 Seattle, WA - Moore Theater %^
04-10 Seattle, WA - Moore Theater %^
04-11 Vancouver, British Columbia - Orpheum Theater %^
04-13 Oakland, CA - Fox Theater %^
% with Deerhunter
@ with the Strange Boys
^ with Micachu and the Shapes
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The easiest difference between the two albums is the lack of horns, at least compared to Love It, Love It. Many of the band’s horn players left after their early 2009 tour, leading the horns to be more scattered through the album. While this just plain sucks, there are upsides to this. Namely, improved song-craft and writing.
Not that Nana were slouching in either department previously, just that it leads to a newer sound. The riffs are more up front as well as Theo’s punk influence. Multiple songs are less than 2 minutes long, and the crunchy riffs of “From Here “, as well as its guitar solo are something you would have never expected Nana Grizol to produce. Nana Grizol’s sweetness is still well in tack though. “Atoms” is just as tender as “Motion in the Ocean” and the instrumental “Alice and Gertrude” has a wonderful Beirut quality to it, complete with French sounding horns (I didn’t say they were all gone).
But just like their first effort, it’s the way everything mushes together that makes the album work so well. Love is still what’s on everyone’s mind, but in a new light. To view past loves as wonderful events in their lives, getting past them, and living life to the fullest. “Blackbox” incapacitates this perfectly starting off as a tale of two ex’s still being upset at each other, one still liking the other, and ending with the realization of how short life is by listening to old blackbox recordings. All incased in a post-power pop style, impeccable horns, and a wonderful piano riff at the end. “Cynicism”, a bittersweet little tune, is proof of their lyrical genius with the line “Cynicism isn’t wisdom, it’s just a lazy way to say that you’ve been burned.” and by the end of the songs you may think they’re right . . . in a nihilistic type of way. “For Things That Haven’t Come Yet” might give “Everything You Ever Hoped or Worked For” competition for catchiest song Nana Grizol has written. Scott Spillens’ horn playing really shines through, and the jangly riff is more infects than swine flu. It’s paired perfectly with the lyrics, an oral representation of the mind rushing from a breakup and if it’s worth caring so much for. Try 500 Days of Summer in 3 minute song form.
Naysayers might say this isn’t Love It, Love It, and really it isn’t. There is less tweeness, the short songs will through you off, and you will miss the horns even though they are there. But for a band that went through internal changes, to a merge more mature on the other end isn’t surprising, and Nana Grizol aged very gracefully. At the end of the day, Ruth is a grower, and that is meant in the best possible sense.
(mp3) Nana Grizol-Galaxies
(mp3) Nana Grizol-For Things That Haven’t Come Yet (via The Great Pumpkin)
Nana Grizol Myspace
Buy the CD/LP of Ruth Here, At Orange Twin Records
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I know many, many people make these every year without pulling of any of them, but I am dead serious with these. Not only on my sake, but to make this blog more readable/enjoy able for you folks as well. So make sure I keep up with these. Pestering me and constant emails are recommend for this. So without further ado, what I can do make this blog better:
- Include more of my voice in the posts (thus the parenthesis).
- Work on my spelling, grammar, and missing words. (Thankfully no one has complained about this yet, but it does make the blog less professional).
- Review a lot more music (so many records reported on, so many not covered).
- Make more a lot more news posts (who knows what I could have turned readers on to if I had reported on it).
- Make the blog look nicer (at least put in a bloody logo picture in the top).
- Go to/cover more shows in Austin (always a plus on my side).
- Start setting up shows in Austin (anyone with tips on this, PLEASE email me).
- Do more of my "regular" posts (only 2 "Lost Gems" and 8 "Bands To Care About" this year? Pathetic).
- Start posting posts on time for once (like this one, which should have gone up two days ago)
- Discover/listen as much music as possible to make 2010 the best year for music yet (but can it bet up any year from the 00's?)
Still, despite all this evident self-deprecation and work it is to keep this blog working, I have heard so much great music, made great friends, and gotten on stage more times this year then in the last 10. Plus I have 13 people reading this blog, which is about 13 more than I ever expected to have. Can't wait to see what I can pull off in 2010!
P.S. Feel free to submit your own recommendations to improve the blog. Their probably a lot better than mine.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
1/02 - Athens, Ga. @ 40 Watt Club (Album release party) w/ The Awesomelies, New Socks, Black Mold Lightning
1/08 - New Orleans, La. @ Allways Lounge
1/09 - Austin, Texas @ Club 1808 w/ Geoff Reacher
1/10 - Las Cruces, N.M. @ Train Yard
1/11 - Tucson, Ariz. @ The Parasol Project
1/13 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Smell
1/14 - Santa Barbara, Calif. @ Biko Garage
1/15 - Berkeley, Calif. @ 924 Gilman w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/16 - Ashland, Ore. @ Diversions w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/17 - Portland, Ore. @ Satyricon w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/18 - Olympia, Wash. @ TBA w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/19 - Seattle, Wash. @ Vera w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/20 - Missoula, Mont. @ Zootown Arts Center w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/21 - Salt Lake City, Utah @ Kilby Court w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/22 - Denver, Colo. @ TBA w/ The Max Levine Ensemble
1/23 - Omaha, Nebr. @ TBA
1/24 - Lawrence, Kans. @ Replay Lounge
1/25 - Saint Louis, Mo. @ Antarctica