July 14, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

This was a lovely summer weekend of champion gyro-eating at the Greek Festival (and watching the dancers click their heels about in traditional garb), summery new Japanese-abstract print bedding, and some indoor thrashing of the Rock Band drum pads. Pretty soon I’m clearly going to be an expert; for now it would help if I could follow along with which side of the screen I was supposed to be playing to.

Summer is also bursting with juicy tunes:

Momentary Drowning
Young Coyotes
Stomp, clap, point at the map. Nod, shake, we’ll head to the lake. We’ll dive off the floating dock into the green unknown. This Denver threesome might own the copyright on summer this year.” [linesthroughlines blog] Oh, Young Coyotes, you had me at hello. This Denver collective comes to us through the deaths of a few other bands, and consists of people who like “campfires, chanting, oceans, deserts, spontaneity, and lots and lots of drums.” I like all of those things although I haven’t chanted since…Coachella. There is a charming rawness and joy that permeates this music from the opening handclaps. Young Coyotes are currently unsigned and living just up the highway, finishing their debut album. They are totally down to soundtrack my summer.

Boarded Doors
The Morning Benders
This foursome from Berkeley just announced fall tour dates with Ra Ra Riot, which means an excellent evening wherever that tour lands them. Classically-constructed and sunny, The Morning Benders make spry pop music that tries for nothing more than to be authentic and honest. This particular sampling rises and falls, marches and prowls with that vibrating surf guitar and the best bits of the British invasion. Their debut album Talking Through Tin Cans is out now on +1 Records and they are relentlessly on tour, with We Are Scientists now and Ra Ra Riot come autumn, hitting Monolith and Treasure Island in between. Heck, they can almost see Treasure Island from where they filmed this video.

Black Ghost / Black Girl
Starling Electric
The Clouded Staircase album definitely looks like something I would find in my parents’ old walnut laminate record cabinet, nestled cozily amidst the Keith Green and The Mamas and the Papas. The halcyon light on the cover and swirling cursive letters give it away. But hey, drop the needle on this album from Ann Arbor’s Starling Electric and you’ll be surprised to hear a variety of decades and moods reflected in lush and heady music that’s absolutely sublime — “a call to arms for anyone still interested in melodies, harmonies, and the power of a good pop song.” Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow (of The Posies/Big Star) fell in love with this band and were early and vocal proponents. I also enjoy the picture on their MySpace of drummer John being wrapped in Robert Pollard’s loving embrace (Pollard invited them on tour with him). Clouded Staircase is out August 19th on Bar/None Records, with a record release party that night at NYC’s Mercury Lounge.

We Are From Venice (La Serenissima mix)
The Bloody Beetroots
Italy possesses some of the best nightlife in Europe — nay, the world. So it makes me happy inside to see how duo The Bloody Beetroots are rocking those dirty dancefloors with their electronica, while moving to take over the rest of the world. Masked in a potential crosscultural salute to the Mexican luchadore (?) this duo is signed to the Dim Mak label and cranks out headspinningly filthy sounds. I’m not sure what’s going on with the masks, but at least they’re having fun. Be sure to check out the new Bloody Beetroots 8-song mini-mix over on the XLR8R podcast last week, and Los Angelenos can see them (well sort of, with the masks and all) this Saturday with N*E*R*D and labelmates MSTRKRFT & Steve Aoki.

She Does

When Fuel/Friends first mentioned this freshfaced Brooklyn quartet with a ragged retro sound, Locksley were just preparing to self-release their own album. Don’t Make Me Wait is now seeing re-release with two bonus tracks and a wider distribution through Fontana Records on August 19th. “She Does” is a screamer of a song that possesses some of the eager roughness of very early Beatles material, back when they’d still unleash those screams with a teen-angst edge. Locksley has toured with The Dandy Warhols & The Hives, and are playing now with Rooney, so you get a delightful idea of what you’re in for. Locksley will be at Denver’s Walnut Room July 22.

And sweet goodness, did you see that Sub Pop is resurrecting their epic Singles Club for a limited time? Details here. And since I don’t have to rely on allowance and babysitting income anymore, I might actually JOIN this time around!

October 2, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Okay, this could be the most entertaining site I’ve come across in a while. Gizoogle.com will translate any website into “jive” (and yes, the silver rims spin on the real page header). So for example, my recent post on Tom Luce becomes the following:

“…A fizzy gutted tha apartment of lead wannabe gangsta Tom Luce (izzy is truly one of tha funky assst & sincerest guys you’ll meet) cuz I put gangsta rap on tha map. They is appear’n at a benefit concert tomorrow nizzay, W-H-to-tha-izzich I am pleazed ta report is sold out. Tom Luce appeared on tha KFOG Spendin’ Show on Monday n tha response ta they upcom’n shizzow has been phenomizzles.”

See, I never knew I had all that in me. Think of all the fun we can have with this site. Aweshizzle.


Cartoon Music For Super Heroes
Albert Hammond Jr.

Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. cuts into solo mode with a thoroughly enjoyable upcoming album Yours To Keep. While there is still a Stroke-ing feel to this collection, it is definitely NOT a Strokes record. Someone has been listening to a lot of Beach Boys, and the retro melodic inflections throughout this album are a very nice touch. Guest artists include fellow Stroke Julian Casablancas, Ben Kweller, Sean Lennon, and Jody Porter (of Fountains of Wayne), so the flashback goodness is not totally unexpected. The album comes out October 9th in the UK on Rough Trade Records, and in Europe & Japan later this year. We Americans must wait until further, unspecified notice for our release. You can stream three more tracks from the album on his MySpace to sate you.

Crazy (Patsy Cline, live cover)
Fiona Apple
On 6/28/02 Fiona Apple played one of her covers-filled sets at the Largo in Los Angeles. I can only find a middling-quality version of a few songs, but man, does she work them. Two Patsy Cline covers – this bang-up sultry version of “Crazy” (originally by Willie Nelson), and “Walkin’ After Midnight”, as well as “Cry Me A River” (Julie London) and “Half As Much” (George Jones). If anyone knows where I can get a clean copy of this or other Largo sets, please let me know! In the meantime, here are three other songs from a 2003 Largo show, including a Buddy Holly cover with Jon Brion.

She Does
This unsigned Brooklyn band (originally from Wisconsin) rips through song after song of spot-on 1960s rock, but with a gritty punk edge that recalls the Libertines or even some of the aggressive recent riffs of the Arctic Monkeys. It’s sloppy guitars, handclaps, and harmonies throughout, and they’ve even got a McCartney lookalike (pic, right). Their MySpace has several other tracks for download. They’ve opened for everyone from John Vanderslice to OK Go to The Dandy Warhols, and they score points with me for their spirited reinvention of the best of the British Invasion. A fun romp, from their upcoming Don’t Make Me Wait album (out Nov 21, preorder coming next week on their website. In the meantime, get their 2005 EP here).

So Weird
Veruca Salt
Stereogum posted this mp3 a few weeks ago, reminding us all that Veruca Salt (well, part of Veruca Salt — Nina Gordon left to pursue her softer side in music) is still here and ready to rock and squeal and yowl your socks off with their particular brand of kickass girl rock. Released a few weeks ago (on the Sympathy For The Record Industry label), IV picks up satisfactorily where Resolver left us 6 years ago. It’s a solid, sexy effort overall, and I’m glad to see them back.

No Complaints
I am so glad that we have Beck to do what he does and fill the uniquely funky & diverse musical niche that he occupies. I am not aware of any other albums that sound like Beck’s ambitious productions. On this thrumming acoustic guitar jam with the standard trippy lyrics about spaceships and factory radiation, Beck is back in fine style. When the mothership comes, he will be ready to kick it with the Mr. Roboto sounds and garbled electronic affects that he is so fond of. The Information comes tomorrow on Interscope.

I have a rager of a head cold today and I’m thinkin’ that staying up til 2:30am last night certainly didn’t make me feel any better this morning. I am considering inserting a home IV drip of orange juice, or maybe buying Emergen-C in bulk.

Wish me luck and be patient with updates. I have a lot to say, but little clarity of mind with which to say it.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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