Punk rock trio EULA have posted videos from recent appearances on WFMU and BreakThru Radio and the band is playing a couple local shows next month.
The band released their latest disc, Maurice Narcisse, this past May which Paper Garden Records described as "a playful treatise on pretension, part lamenting part castigating the metaphorical ‘character’ for his egotism. Alyses’ punching lyrics find their match in aggressive drums and plunging melodies, so despite the aforementioned woes, Maurice Narcisse is an undeniably fun listen. Give a listen to the record’s titular track, a smoldering, discombobulated pop song that EULA has made their specialty. It’s indubitably technical and well-crafted, every detail fired off with conviction and purpose."
EULA - "Above the Weather" Live
EULA - Live on BreakThru Radio
EULA is playing Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street, Brooklyn, NY) along with MiniBone, Quiet Loudly and Ball of Flame Shoot Fire on Dec. 10th. On Dec. 15th, EULA is playing Cake Shop as part of Whatever Blog's Holiday Party. Also on the bill are Radical Dads, These United States, Hilly Eye and Libel - cover is $8 at the door.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Brooklyn's Bugs in the Dark released a strong EP, "Hang It On The Wall", in October which shows their sound moving in a direction that is comparable to PJ Harvey and/or Sonic Youth. The disc's four tracks run just shy of 20 minutes and the overall sound is moody and atmospheric.
The band just released a video for the leadoff track, "Serpents and Wine", which is indicative of the overall sound of the disc.
Bugs in the Dark toured Europe and played the Halifax Pop Explosion in Canada earlier this Fall. The band is now home and playing an end-of-year show at Cake Shop on Dec. 17th along with Gone Bad (final show) and Girlfriends - cover is $7.
Bugs in the Dark
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
It has been tough to keep up with the volume of discs that The Residents have released around their The Bunny Boy and Talking Light projects. Ozark came out in July but I finally had some time over the holiday to catch up on some discs that slipped through the cracks.
Ozark's 25 tracks run 70 minutes and long-time Residents fans are likely to already have the majority of these tracks. The disc contains 11 country-scorched instrumental tracks from 2010's download-only Ozan project (where the download information was made available on dog tags and a backstage pass sold on the Talking Light tour), 10 tracks from the ltd. edition CD Arkansas (which was sold through Ralph's web store) along with four previously unheard tracks.
Below is the press release for Ozark along with a breakdown of the tracks from Arkansas:
When The Residents went to Arkansas to complete the shooting of their 2009 internet series, The Bunny Boy, they found themselves holed up in a motel for longer than they had expected. Rain and lots of it hit the area around Hope, Arkansas where they were cooped up in a motel near the airport. The final scenes of the series were planned to take place on a chicken farm in Patmos, Arkansas but due to flooding they actually had to film in nearby Ozan, Arkansas. The Residents were quick to realize the area was rich in music.
It was not surprising that the group would be influenced by some of this remarkable music. The Residents added a number of new tunes to their repertoire while in Arkansas. They had already released a CD called Arkansas, though it was not of the material they wrote there. None of that music materialized until later when they created a special download project called Ozan.
This new CD combines the, now out of print, Arkansas CD with the tunes from Ozan into one collection, Ozark. The Ozark mountains run through Arkansas and their beauty was an inspiration to the group, but in this instance it also proved a convenient way to press the two titles into one… Ozan and Arkansas became Ozark. To round out the project, The Residents added 4 additional songs from that era which had not previously been released.
This 25 track, 70 minute album mops up the cutting room floor after The Bunny Boy projects had been completed.
50/50 vocal and instrumental tracks
Tracks from Arkansas:
1. "Nobody is Listening"
This piece was not included on the album, but it opened the touring show, The Bunny Boy.
2. "The Bunny Boy"
An alternative arrangement of the song from the album, The Bunny Boy.
3. "Sad Saint John"
Written for The Bunny Boy album, but eliminated from the final album.
4. "The Butcher Shop"
An alternative arrangement of the song from the album, The Bunny Boy.
5. "Memories for Sale"
Written for The Bunny Boy album, but eliminated from the final album.
6. "Two Clown Paintings"
Written for The Bunny Boy album, but eliminated from the final album.
7. "The Black Behind"
An alternative arrangement of the song from the album, The Bunny Boy.
8. "My Brother's Skin"
Written for The Bunny Boy album, but eliminated from the final album.
9. "Save the World"
An instrumental version of a song that was performed live on the European leg of The Bunny Boy tour.
Written for The Bunny Boy album, but eliminated from the final album.
Ozark is available as a $11.99 CD on-demand (CDR) through The Residents' web store (or $999.99 through Amazon.com). The Residents just started taking some of their CDR's out of print so you probably don't have 'forever' to pick this one up.
Paper Thick Walls presents an elegant mix of deep, reflective, and at times haunting music, which captures elements of sound similar to acts like Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens. The almost orchestral arrangement of piano, upright bass, guitars, drums, fiddle, mandolin, and other various instruments has a fascinating way of complimenting the profound fictional story lines that Paper Thick Walls portray through their lyrics.
The band was last in town for CMJ and are now coming back through New York with shows at Spike Hill (Dec. 10th) and Pianos (Dec. 11th). For the show at Spike Hill, Paper Thick Walls is playing with Herbert Bail Orchestra (11PM set time), SWF (10PM set time) and The Goodnoise (8PM set time). Paper Thick Walls is going on at 9PM and cover is $5.
For the show at Pianos, Paper Thick Walls is playing with Sink Tapes (8PM set time), Roy Orbit (10PM set time) and Athan & Trapped in Static (11PM set time). Cover is $8 and Paper Thick Walls takes the stage at 9PM.
Paper Thick Walls
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
DOWNLOAD: Savage Messiah - "Plague of Conscience" (free download of full length album)
Savage Messiah was formed in 2007 in London, England. The band consists of lead guitarist/singer Dave Silver, lead guitarist Joff Bailey, bassist Stefano Selvatico and drummer Mauricio Chamucero.
In late 2010 the band was signed to Earache Records and set about writing and demoing a new record and also appeared at the 2010 Earache Christmas Party. After months of pre-production work the band hit the studio in the summer of 2011 to record once more with Scott Atkins taking a break from recording to play at Devilstone Open Air in Lithuania and a short run of UK dates with US metallers Skeletonwitch.
The band wrapped up production of its new album titled "Plague of Conscience" in late September 2011 after 6 weeks of intense recording and immedeately embarked on a 15 date nationwide UK tour with label mates Evile.
The new album is due out in January but Earache is making a digital copy available now as a free download. Check out the video message below from Savage Messiah frontman David Silver.
01 For All The Little Things by Fort Wilson Riot
02 All My Friends by Fort Wilson Riot
Indie dance-rock duo Fort Wilson Riot have a new EP, "Generation Complex", coming out Dec. 3rd and are playing Fontana's on Dec. 12th. This new 6-track EP is coming out on a double EP split-vinyl release with psychedelic rockers Phantom Tails.
The new EP pulls you in right away with its dark and catchy rhythms but there is a lot more complexity and depth beneath the surface that reveals itself after repeat listens. There is so much going on in the music that it is hard to find a single label (or even a half-dozen labels) that describe Fort Wilson Riot....the disc starts with "For All the Little Things", which sounds something from Matt & Kim, and rapidly progresses into darkwave dance territory where the band sounds more like Apes & Androids or Shriekback. Regardless of labels, the end result is a captivating, unique sound where the band's songs hold up well after repeat listens.
In their own music, Fort Wilson Riot isn’t just happy to let it stay the same either. Yes, they make great harmonies, with Amy’s soprano lifting and floating over Jacob’s growl and yelp, but there is nothing easily classifiable about the rest of their sound. From the crashing guitars and keys, to the blasting uplift of trumpet and harmonica lines to the dancing thump of electronic drums, Fort Wilson Riot are an energy that grabs a hold of you and takes you on a journey. The music doesn’t let up, and wherever they are, neither do Fort Wilson Riot.
Fort Wilson Riot is taking the stage at 11PM at the show at Fontana's and they are playing with Shane Shane (10PM) (who mentions on his Facebook page that his interests are "nipples, pronouncing nipples "nipp-o's").
Fort Wilson Riot
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
In August, Maria Taylor released her fourth solo disc, Overlook. This new disc is rawer, both in sound and emotion, than Taylor’s work with Azure Ray and Now It’s Overhead. The music on Taylor's latest disc is a compelling assortment of songs that range from wispy dream-pop to Michelle Shocked-style ragtime Americana to alt-country/folk to pulsing, jagged, alt-rock.
Taylor just released the first video from her new disc, which is for the song "Matador" (below). Following this is a bootleg video of "Matador" performed live at The Grog Shop in Cleveland, OH on 11/12/11.
Fear (Lee Ving) Returns with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" / Re-recording of "The Record" Due Out Next Year
STREAM: Fear - "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
I'm having trouble with this one...I'm glad to see Fear back in action but their music shouldn't be something that my grandmother would be comfortable listening to alongside Elvis' "Blue Christmas". It seems hard to believe that this is the same band the released the song "F*ck Christmas" and almost caused a riot 10+ years ago when the cops tried shutting down a Fear show at The Continental for overcrowding.
The End Records is proud to announce its collaboration with FEAR, the pioneer American Punk Rock Band from Los Angeles, CA, credited for influencing the American punk rock movement. Along with SEX PISTOLS and the Return To Forever, FEAR helped define the sound and style of Post, Neo-Punk, Jazz-Thrash-Fusion and theoretical physics! Since Fear’s release of debut album The Record in 1982, bands such as A Perfect Circle, Soundgarden, Megadeth, Sacred Reich and Guns N' Roses have covered their songs, affirming their widespread influence.
For the 2011 holiday season, FEAR and frontman Lee Ving are releasing the Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 7”: a digital and vinyl-only Black Friday exclusive, this collector’s item contains both title track and classic B-side “Another Christmas Beer.”
The FEAR legend will continue with a re-recording of 1982’s The Record, the debut that solidified FEAR’s blistering, thrashy attack that, for all its fury, was surprisingly tight and even intricate. Its new release is due in early 2012, along with with lots of touring and an appearance at the 2012 SXSW Festival in Austin, TX.
In a recent interview with Alternative Press, Lee Ving was asked: "What’s the situation with Fear re-recording [1982’s] The Record? What’s the lineup? And why do it?"
Lee Ving: The situation is successful and complete. Lineup is: yours truly, LeeVing (vocals and guitar), Andrew Jaimez (drums and concussion), Paul Lerma (bass), Dave Stark (guitar), Derol Caraco (guitar).
Why? Because we could, of course. But actually because, in addition to many others, these are songs we always play. And so finally this FEAR The ReRecord has the songs recorded and performed in the way that I heard them being presented when I was writing them.
DOWNLOAD: Deleted Scenes - "Bedbedbedbedbed" (from Young People's Church of the Air)
D.C. post-punk band Deleted Scenes released their second disc, Young People's Church of the Air, in September on Sockets Records. Their newest collection of songs originated in frontman Daniel Scheuerman's basement and assumed a live identity over the course of 300 tour dates. Recorded at the Garden Center in Hockessin, DE, with Nick Krill (The Spinto Band) and Birdseed Shirt producer L. Skell, the album mixes themes of family, love, death, and joy incorporating studio sounds and home-recorded lo-fi noise. Young People's Church of the Air's title was fittingly taken from a 1930's radio-church hymnal Scheuerman found in an old piano bench at the Garden Center, and evokes the elusive and sometimes illusory nature of hope.
In an interview with Washingtonian, singer/guitarist Daniel Scheuerman was asked to describe the band's new album and he said: "This new album is our second, and we wrote it over the course of the last two or three years. Lyrically, it opens up a lot of new territory, so it moves away from a post-adolescence/early twenties negativity, and tries to come to terms with a post-cynical outlook. In your late twenties, you start to doubt the usefulness of negativity, and try to find truth in a world that doesn’t really offer it, so I think you try to create it yourself instead. It’s about getting over yourself, I guess...One of my favorite songs on the new album is called “Bedbedbedbedbed,” and that’s definitely inspired by getting engaged and appreciating the nice things about relationships, the ways in which they help you."
Deleted Scenes came through NYC over the summer and are now back on the road for a Fall tour. The band is playing two NYC shows with the first being at Brooklyn Bowl on Dec. 2nd with Jukebox the Ghost and The Spinto Band. Tickets for this show are $10 in advance and $12 (DOS) and doors are at 6PM. The second show is at Pianos on Dec. 3rd. Tickets for this show are also $10 and Deleted Scenes is playing with Mandala, Lesser Ghost and Backlights.
Monday, November 21, 2011
School of Seven Bells Announce Third Disc, "Ghostory", Out Feb. 28th (Vagrant Records / Ghostly International)
School Of Seven Bells are back with their third release, Ghostory, out February 28 on Vagrant Records/Ghostly Inernational. The highly-anticipated album finds the band’s lineup has evolved along with the music; formerly a trio, the band is now a duo: guitarist / producer Benjamin Curtis and vocalist Alejandra Deheza
Recorded in-between tours, Ghostory exemplifies a fervent progression of SVIIB’s growth as artists, preserving the common themes found on their last two releases but exposing them in different fashions. The familiar ethereal and enigmatic tones are omnipresent, surrounded by layers of influences from ‘80s pop, shoegaze and ambient electronic sounds. However, Ghostory comes with a story in mind; the tale of a young girl named Lafaye and the ghosts that surround her life.
“Everyone has ghosts”, says Alejandra Deheza; “They're every love you've ever had, every hurt, every betrayal, every heartbreak. They follow you, stay with you.” This detailed storytelling is evident from start to finish on the record, weaving a tale that moves between a fervent synthesized adventure and spacious lyrical euphoria. Tracks like “Love Play” and “Show Me Love” create a hauntingly indelible atmosphere that grab attention with the ambitious wordplay in the center of it all. Surrounding tracks like “Lafaye” and “Scavenger” entice the vibe of previous School of Seven Bells releases with their steadily dance-centric tempo and uplifting melodic progressions. Ghostory flows seamlessly and effortlessly, a result of the shared songwriting process.
“Ghostory is our most collaborative music to date,” describes Benjamin Curtis, “Alley (Alejandra) and I have always written our music together, but always independently and on our own time. We knew we wanted to do something that was more sensual and spontaneous than anything we had ever done before, and that meant writing together in a room, coming up with ideas quickly and immediately reacting to what the other person was doing.” Within Ghostory, the story of both Lafaye’s and the band’s journey will be told.
The band premiered some of these songs live at a late Summer show at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn.
School Of Seven Bells formed in 2006 as a trio (including Claudia Deheza) and released their debut full-length, Alpinisms, on Ghostly International in 2008. The group’s appeal grew exponentially, with their signature sounds stemming from pieces of electronic subgenres and shoegaze bands before them. By 2010, the group released the critically acclaimed Disconnect From Desire on Ghostly International and Vagrant. Ghostory is truly their defining work, beautifully crafted and haunting, with the story of Lafaye permeating the psyche long after the music stops.
01 The Night
02 Love Play
04 Low Times
06 Show Me Love
08 White Wind
09 When You Sing
School of Seven Bells
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
DOWNLOAD: Canon Logic - "Don't Know What You've Got (Til Its Gone)"
I've got a backlog of postings and CD reviews to finish and yet I spent too much time this evening trying to Photoshop Tim Kiely's head onto a mid-80's photo of Tom Keifer.
The Canon Logic have the lead-off track on the new Engine Room Recordings' Guilt By Association compilation. The theme of Vol. 3 is 80's hair metal and The Canon Logic deliver a rocking power-pop cover of Cinderella's hair-ballad "Don't Know What You've Got (Til Its Gone)".
Below is the press write-up for this new compilation:
Engine Room Recordings is back with another installment of the beloved covers compilation series with Guilt By Association Vol. 3, to be released on November 15, 2011. The Guilt By Association concept is easy, Engine Room asks artists to cover songs that one could call a guilty pleasure, but the catch is we all love these songs guilt free! Past volumes included tracks by Devendra Banhart, Will Oldham, Superchunk, My Brightest Diamond, Matt Pond PA, and Frightened Rabbit covering artists such as Mariah Carey, My Chemical Romance, Ace of Base and Destiny’s Child. On Guilt By Association Volume 3, Engine Room has gone one step further and added a theme within the theme. For this newest installment, all of the songs had to be plucked from everyone’s favorite genre, 80’s hair metal. Vol. 3 features Helmet covering Loudness, Mike Viola tackling Ratt, Madison Square Gardeners doing Poison, Canon Logic taking on Cinderella and Bird of Youth covering Skid Row.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Dead Meadow's blissful, psychedelic stoner rock was a great way to follow Spindrift. Original drummer Mark Laughlin returned to the band last year and the Dead Meadow is currently working on their next studio disc, which is a follow-up to 2008's Old Growth.
The band's set ran about an hour and here is my best guess at a set list:
01 Intro > I Love You Too
02 What Needs Must Be
03 Till Kingdom Come
04 1000 Dreams (??)
05 Good Moanin'
06 Indian Bones
07 At Her Open Door
08 Sleepy Silver Door
Spindrift drew a good crowd but MHOW was packed as Dead Meadow prepared to take the stage. What was sad/funny is that some arse pushed his way up to the front of the stage and starts yelling over and over again "Mark Laughlin". Mark came over, seemingly a bit perplexed but very pleasant, and asked the guy if they knew each other. This idiot then just smirked and said "no". During the last song, someone from the Dead Meadow camp (presumably) came out in a monster costume and this same idiot tried to pull the monster off stage. The things people do when they can't find a Pearl Jam show to go to...
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Video: Spindrift - "Space Vixens"
Spindrift has been around for almost twenty years and the band just released its fourth full-length disc, Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1, early this year. This disc shows the band continuing to follow its Western / Morricone muse and "the album featured 14 theme songs to various film scores they are set to and up to 8 different directors participated in the project. The film clips, music videos, and movie trailers were all premiered on IFC and featured films by Burke Roberts, J. X. Williams, Abigail Bean, Simon Chan, and many others. The music crossed genres such as Bollywood songs, Science fiction, Exploitation films, and Film noir." (from Spindrift's official bio)
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Spindrift founder/guitarist Kirpatrick Thomas prior to the band taking the stage for the second of two sold-out shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
BrooklynRocks: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me! Would you mind starting out by talking a bit about the current tour and what the reception has been so far?
Kirpatrick Thomas: We kicked off the tour on October 6th in Los Angeles, which is where we are from, and did some shows through the Southwest before we hitched up with Dead Meadow and played with them in Austin. From Austin, we shot over to Houston to start off the first show of this tour with Black Angels, Dead Meadow and Spindrift. Since then, we have been going since mid-October. It is 20 shows with the three of our bands and 40 shows with just Spindrift headlining. The reception has been awesome having these three bands play every night. It shows the weight that Black Angels can carry - headlining three nights at Williamsburg Music Hall - they really bring it out. Dead Meadow does pretty well themselves so they were able to back the tour. For us, we have toured a lot so we can bring out what we have.
BrooklynRocks: How did the current lineup of Spindrift come together? I've been watching the band for years and it seems like it has been you along with a rotating cast of band members.
Kirpatrick Thomas: We started the band in Newark, DE and that was in 1994. We started out as a four piece - we were getting out of college, added a keyboard player and became a five piece. Though the 90's, we did a lot of shows on the East Coast and the South but we weren't getting anywhere. We were playing psychedelic rock, garage rock and experimental blues. We really liked My Bloody Valentine, The Doors, Hawkwind, Chrome and those types of bands but it wasn't until I moved out West that we decided that we got to get out of here and try something new and different. Basically, moving from one place to another, we had to change some band members. The way I see it is that we go through a rotation every five years. It just happens like that but this current lineup has been set for over two years now. The previous lineup was five years and the one before that was also five years. We have been out in LA for ten years now and it has been going really strong. I think with every lineup change, I get a little smarter about finding musicians that I would like to interact with.
Lucas Dawson (Pedal Steel & Guitar) was floating around in Joshua Tree and he said that he played pedal steel and he wanted to play psychedelic pedal steel so we started jamming. Then I got James Action (Drums, Autoharp) who was in Salt Lake City and I had met him before and he played autoharp. Originally, I just wanted an autoharp player and them our drummer left so he said he played drums. I decided to give him a try and he moved to LA to join the band. I had seen Sasha's (Mellosonic, Vocals, Flutes) solo thing around LA and she had already approached Spindrift to be in the band. So it was just me as the mainstay and Henry (Evans) the bass player as hold-overs from the previously line-up.
BrooklynRocks: How did the new disc, Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1, come together?
Kirpatrick Thomas: The new disc is basically a musical resume for film composition so it is a compilation as well. The songs are from a bunch of films that we did while we were living out in LA. We had done our own film, The Legend of God's Gun, and that got our foot in the door as far as being known as an indie film composing score band. Once we started doing that with the Western we did, other people started asking us to do scores for this or that film. Next thing I knew, we had a really big catalog of stuff and we could put out a compilation of all the different film scores that we had done. So we worked with different directors for each song and each song is for a different style of film and a different genre of film and that created a unique album. We went out and road-tested it for a while and figured out what we wanted to lay down officially.
BrooklynRocks: Now how much of tonight's set is going to be from the current album and how far back do you go in the catalog?
Kirpatrick Thomas: We go back to about 2003 - we play "Red Reflection" and that was written around then. In fact, on the new album, we have a new version of "Red Reflection" because it has gone through so much changes over years. This time out, we really nailed the spooky, atmospheric Western style that we were trying to go at.
BrooklynRocks: What Los Angeles like these days? Going back a number of years, I remember bands bitching about pay-to-play on the Strip.
Kirpatrick Thomas: The Strip is terrible...you shouldn't go near that place unless they really request that you do. The best parts are downtown LA and the Echo Park / Silver Lake / Highland Park scene and also out in the desert. Hollywood has some pretty good venues - occasionally, the Troubadour and The Roxy will have good shows. We have played most of those places. The glitzy side doesn't really appeal to us because we are very underground indie film-maker style stuff.
BrooklynRocks: Here is the last question - what's next for you guys and where do you want to go from here?
Kirpatrick Thomas: There could be Classic Soundtracks Vol. 2 because we scored a few more films that haven't been released yet. We about to score another film called The Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace and that is a mountain man film, shot in the Colorado Rockies. It is very authentic and is done by a talented director named Burke Roberts and I'm sure that we will do more film works beyond this. As a side thing, one thing that we really enjoy doing is playing old traditional cowboy trail and folk songs. We break this down with traditional instruments and three and four-part harmonies and we are definitely going to do an album like that pretty soon.
BrooklynRocks: Thanks for the time tonight and looking forward to hearing what comes next.
Friday, November 11, 2011
In August, Maria Taylor released her fourth solo disc, Overlook. This new disc is rawer, both in sound and emotion, than Taylor’s work with Azure Ray and Now It’s Overhead, and Taylor produced this disc herself after coming off a year-long writing dry spell. The music on Taylor's latest disc is a compelling assortment of songs that range from wispy dream-pop to Michelle Shocked-style ragtime Americana to alt-country/folk to pulsing, jagged, alt-rock.
Note: Ignore the YouTube song title - this is a live performance of "Happenstance"
Maria Taylor's show at Mercury Lounge is a late show with doors opening at 9:30PM. Taylor is sharing the bill with The Grenadines (10PM) and Dead Fingers (9:30PM) and tickets are $12 in advance and $14 DOS.
I had no clue that CBS was posting near full-sets of artists who appeared on Late Show with David Letterman. Below is a 68 minute set from Peter Gabriel that was recorded on Nov. 9th.
The show consists of performances from Peter Gabriel's most recent album, New Blood, which features revamped, orchestral versions of fan and personal favorites from his solo career.
New Blood is available in a 2-disc edition for ~$13 (so there is no reason to get the single disc). Here is the track list for the two discs:
New Blood - Disc 1
1. Rhythm of the Heat
2. Downside Up (Featuring Melanie Gabriel)
3. San Jacinto
6. In Your Eyes
7. Mercy Street
8. Red Rain
10. Don't Give Up (Featuring Ane Brun)
11. Digging in the Dirt
12. The Nest that Sailed the Sky
13. A Quiet Moment
14. Solsbury Hill (Bonus Track)
New Blood - Disc 2
1. The Rhythm of the Heat (instrumental)
2. Downside Up (instrumental)
3. San Jacinto (instrumental)
4. Intruder (instrumental)
5. Wallflower (instrumental)
6. In Your Eyes (instrumental)
7. Mercy Street (instrumental)
8. Red Rain (instrumental)
9. Darkness (instrumental)
10. Don't Give Up (instrumental)
11. Digging In The Dirt (instrumental)
12. The Nest That Sailed The Sky (instrumental)
13. Blood of Eden (studio track)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
After generating a buzz with the her full-length debut, Catching a Tiger (2010), and a sold-out CMJ show at Hiro Ballroom, Lissie's back with a five-track / 25 minute EP of covers, "Covered Up With Flowers". The disc includes covers of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (which are well familiar to fans through Lissie's YouTube videos) in addition to previously unheard covers of Joe South's "Games People Play" and a haunting version of Nick Cave's "The Ship Song".
Coincidently, prior to playing this disc, I had pulled Nick Cave's Kicking Against the Pricks off the shelf and given it a spin. There are a lot of similarities between Kicking Against the Pricks and "Covered Up With Flowers" as Lissie, like Cave, picks an eclectic mix of cover songs and "owns" her version and reinterpretation of these songs. The key to a good cover song is to pick something unexpected and then either present a unique take on the song or completely deconstruct the song (like Devo's "Satisfaction" or Meat Puppets' "I've Got a Right"). By this mark, Lissie succeeds on both fronts and gives recognizable but unique takes on each of these five songs.
The disc starts with a live version of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness", which appears to be from the video embedded above. After this, Lissie shaves off the pop gloss from Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and delivers a dark and somber but spirited reinterpretation of the song. From there, Lissie goes into a sun-baked cover of Joe South's "Games People Play" before returning back to the somber side of life with faithful-to-the-original covers of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" and Nick Cave's "The Ship Song".
While most covers albums are stop-gap measures, "Covered Up With Flowers" is a solid addition to Lissie's catalog as it collects (almost all of) the previously unreleased songs that have helped defined Lissie's career to-date.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
DOWNLOAD: Meat Puppets - Instrumental Rough Mixes from the "Meat Puppets II" Sessions
(Note: Download link posted to MeatPuppets.com by Meat Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom)
The Meat Puppets' second disc, Meat Puppets II (originally issued in 1984), has aged well. This disc was a major leap forward, both sonically and musically, from its predecessor and started the band down the acid-drenched, country-punk path that defined their later releases. The Meat Puppets played this disc in its entirety as part of ATP's "Don't Look Back" series in 2008 and every review of the disc mentions that Nirvana performed three tracks from this disc during their MTV Unplugged appearance.
This reissue extends the disc's original twelve tracks with seven bonus tracks to bring the total running time up to 48 minutes and the disc also contains the promo video for"New Gods" (embedded above). Six of the seven bonus tracks are a mix of demos and outtakes (which include a Rolling Stones cover) but the seventh track, "Teenager" (1982), shows how the band's song writing was evolving away from their punk roots even prior to the recoding of Meat Puppets II. In the disc's liner notes, Derrick Bostrom said "The Take It! cut "Teenager(s)" was joining of two songs, the speedy first part by Cris and me and the slower part by Curt. Never much of a fan of punk rock, he drew instead upon his own tastes, creating a unique combination of country, psychedelia and country rock. The success of "Teenager(s)" encouraged us to get more ambitious on our next album (Meat Puppets II)."
Meat Puppets II established Curt as the band's principle songwriter and Curt cites Neil Young as one of his primary influences. “The Neil thing goes back to stuff that I grew up on even before I heard Neil,” Curt said. “But I think he gave me the confidence, knowing that rockers could play rock, and then cross over. Neil was one of the only people who ever did it, for some reason. But we got tired of playin’ punk rock, that was it, I guess. We realized we could do the other stuff, so…we had been listening to Fleetwood Mac, and Creedence, and Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. And Neil Young, a lot. Those kind of bands. And I guess Meat Puppets II kind of showed our influences more than any other of our records did."
Many of the songs from this disc are still in the Meat Puppets' current setlist and, aside for a short digressions into hardcore with "Split Myself In Two" and "New Gods" and the freaked-out psychedelia of "Lake of Fire", "Plateau" (below) is fairly indicative of the overall sound of the disc.
There is a good reason that this disc was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die...
Friday, November 04, 2011
Detroit Fans Start Online Petition to Replace Nickelback as the Halftime Show for the Lion's Thanksgiving Game
I almost fell over laughing when I read about Detroit Lion fans protesting the choice of Nickelback as the halftime act for the Detroit Lion's Thanksgiving Day game. I'm not laughing though at the Detroit fans though (I was born in downtown Detroit) but that someone finally had the b*lls to call out Nickelback and it hit the mainstream press (CNN).
UrbanDictionary.com defines Nickelback as "Another mediocre somewhat popular nu-metal band, this time, from Canada, which isn't a surprise considering their musical track record (Avril, Celine Dion, Barenaked Ladies, etc). Lead singer Chad is an extremely nasal "Marlboro Man" type vocalist who sounds constipated on a permenant basis. Guitar consists mostly of easy-to-play power chords that give the band a "tough" sound to the untrained ear, but a closer look reveals a band that has nothing to offer creatively."
If that isn't enough, the online petition to replace Nickelback writes: "This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback? Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback?!?!?! Does anyone even like Nickelback? Is this some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions? This is completely unfair to those of us who purchased tickets to the game. At least the people watching at home can mute their TVs. The Lions ought to think about their fans before choosing such an awful band to play at halftime."
There is still time to do the right thing and sign the petition.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
It is bands like Drunken Sufis that make me miss CBGB and the old Continental where you could see 5 - 6 bands on a weekend night and there would always be a band that you hadn't heard of that would catch your ear. I remember being impressed the first time I saw The A.K.A's (who opened for The Dwarves) and Drunken Sufis sound like The A.K.A's crossed with the Dead Kennedy's.
Drunken Sufis recently released Death Cult Summer Camp, which Deli Magazine described as a 17-song collection of manic, sharply satirical bursts of "conspiracy prog-punk." The band is headlining a show this Friday at Fontana's and they are playing with The Sharp Lads (11PM set time), The Bright White (10PM set time), The Dardys (9PM set time) and The Frost Heaves (8PM set time). Cover is $8.
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar by Wichita Recordings
First Aid Kit - Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg - premiered the video for "The Lion's Roar", the title-track of their upcoming sophomore album, on SPIN.com earlier this week. Directed by Mats Udd, the moody and mystical video is embedded below.
"The Lion's Roar" single is now available exclusively on iTunes and will be found at all major digital retailers, and sold as a 7-inch at the band's shows, beginning November 8th. The 7-inch will also be released in stores on December 6th. First Aid Kit will release The Lion's Roar LP on January 24th, 2012 via Wichita Recordings.
After recently performing on three UK dates with Lykke Li, First Aid Kit will head to the US later this week to support their fellow Swede on a three-week tour. The Söderbergs will also headline two US shows of their own: November 8th at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and November 16th at the Mercury Lounge in New York. Alessi's Ark is supporting First Aid Kit for the show at Mercury Lounge. This is an early show with Alessi's Ark going on at 6:30PM and First Aid Kit at 7:30PM. Tickets are $15.
First Aid Kit will perform live in-studio on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic on November 8th. Following the US shows, the band will return to Europe for eight headlining shows that run through early December.
The follow up to last year's highly-praised debut LP The Big Black & The Blue, The Lion's Roar finds First Aid Kit at their finest, singing bittersweet songs that frequently juxtapose sadness and beauty. Whether the glorious title track opener, the achingly lovely "Emmylou", or the exuberant final track "King Of The World" (featuring Conor Oberst and The Felice Brothers), the Söderbergs' evocative, preternatural harmonies and remarkable songwriting take centerstage throughout the album.
First Aid Kit recorded The Lion's Roar with Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes and Monsters Of Folk; also producer of Cursive, Lightspeed Champion, Pete Yorn, and many others) in May at his ARC Studios in Omaha, NE. In addition to Klara (vocals, guitar) and Johanna (vocals, autoharp, keys), the album features their father Benkt on bass and Mattias Bergqvist on drums, while Mogis, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes), and a cast of Omaha-based musicians further round out the sound.s.
First Aid Kit Tour Dates:
NOV. 7 -- POMONA, CA -- FOX THEATER*
NOV. 8 -- LOS ANGELES, CA -- THE TROUBADOUR
NOV. 9 -- OAKLAND, CA -- FOX THEATER*
NOV. 11 -- DENVER, CO -- OGDEN THEATER*
NOV. 13 -- MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- FIRST AVENUE*
NOV. 14 -- CHICAGO, IL -- VIC THEATER*
NOV. 15 -- TORONTO, ON -- SOUND ACADEMY*
NOV. 16 -- NEW YORK, NY -- THE MERCURY LOUNGE
NOV. 17 -- MONTCLAIR, NJ -- WELLMONT THEATER*
NOV. 19 -- ASHEVILLE, NC -- ORANGE PEEL*
NOV. 20 -- ATLANTA, GA -- BUCKHEAD THEATER*
NOV. 21 -- NEW ORLEANS, LA -- TIPITINA’S*
NOV. 28 -- STOCKHOLM, SE -- MOSEBACKE
NOV. 29 -- STOCKHOLM, SE -- MOSEBACKE
NOV. 30 -- GÖTEBORG, SE -- NEFERTITI
DEC. 2 -- MALMÖ, SE -- VICTORIATEATERN
DEC. 5 -- BERLIN, DE -- BERGHAIN KANTINE
DEC. 6 -- LONDON, UK -- BUSH HALL
DEC. 8 -- AMSTERDAM, NL -- PARADISIO
* supporting Lykke Li
First Aid Kit
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
DOWNLOAD: Meat Puppets - First Album Session Outtakes (first session)
(posted to MeatPuppets.com by Meat Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom)
I can't imagine how today's RIAA-fueled culture of paranoia would have reacted to the hardcore bands of the early 80's giving away songs to fanzines and one-off cassette compilations. MVD's reissue of the Meat Puppets self-titled full-length debut contains the original 14 track disc (from 1982), the band's first five-track recording ("In a Car" EP) from 1981, along with an additional thirteen tracks of previously unreleased studio sessions and tracks from various compilations. Adding to the fun,the disc also contains a Quicktime video of the band performing "Walking Boss" at Target Video's studio in San Francisco.
This disc was the Meat Puppets hardcore album but there are some hints of the sun-baked cow punk that was to follow on the Puppets later albums. The sound on this disc is raw and loud and most of the songs are over in the blink of an eye and a burst of speed. Curt Kirkwood stated: "The first [album] was our LSD record. We were three days in the studio, and we tripped the whole time. And it was really cool, and really trying, too, because we went insane."
Like many of the hardcore bands of that time, the songs were often recorded live, in single-take sessions. Derrick Bostrom recalls that "Meat Puppets was recorded live. So live that there wasn’t even any separation. We just set up the way we play onstage. Pretty much everything you hear on that record is just the drums and what’s bleeded through ‘em, and the vocals put on [later]. So that was a very raw project, and it sounds like it. You can hear the room. You can hear the direct signal, like the bass going [simulated loud crackling noise], and then you can hear everything else bleeding into the mikes on the drums."
Where the Puppets showed that they weren't afraid to break from the hardcore pack is in their choice of cover tunes. Obviously NOT sharing punk's hatred of hippies and country music, the band covers "I Am A Child" (Neil Young), "Franklin's Tower" (Grateful Dead), Doc Watson's "Walking Boss" and Sons of the Pioneers "Tumbling Tumbleweeds". Adding to the potential confusion of the listener, the band's lyrical themes ranges from odes to weed ("Blue-Gold God") to twisted Bible imagery.
Given all this, I can't imagine the Puppets had much in common with their hardcore contemporaries at that time. In an old Goldmine article on the Puppets, Thurston Moore is quoted as saying: "When they first started, they were just so fuckin’ weird. They were really twisted. They would come out and play a hundred songs, each one shorter than the last. Singing this Mickey Mouse gobbledy-gook. Then they’d break into a 20-minute Grateful Dead thing. The audience just did not know what to think of these guys. And they had long hair which was unheard of.”
There were some pretty influential punk discs that came out in 1982 - The Misfits - Walk Among Us, Dead Kennedys - Plastic Surgery Disasters, Flipper - Album and Bad Brains - ROIR cassette - and the Meat Puppets debut full-length has earned its place among these discs.
The Meat Puppets
DOWNLOAD: Guided By Voices - "The Unsinkable Fats Domino" (out Nov. 22nd on Matador Records)
Guided By Voices - Doughnut For A Snowman by FIRE RECORDS
(out Nov. 28th w/ 4 non-LP B-sides)
After a fifteen year hiatus, the "classic line up" of Guided By Voices finished off its year-long reunion tour by recording an album of 21 new songs, making a deliberate effort to return to what bandleader Robert Pollard calls the "semi-collegial" approach of iconic GBV albums like Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Let's Go Eat The Factory is some kind of return to form: sprawling, variegated, and yet still recognizably and coherently Guided By Voices in both its literal and mythic senses.
Choosing to eschew the recording studio, Let's Go Eat The Factory was instead manufactured in the living rooms, basements, and garages of various long-time bandmembers.
Some tracks were recorded more-or-less live at Mitch Mitchell's garage, where the band would often practice back in the early- and mid-90s. These sessions comprised Mitch, Bob, and Jimmy Pollard, Bob's brother and long-time collaborator, who, though never a part of the touring ensemble, always played a crucial role on the classic-era releases. Some tracks were improvised over acoustic jam sessions at Greg Demos' house. Many were recorded at Tobin Sprout's place in Wherever, Michigan, and later lovingly fucked with in order to achieve the proper level of weirdness. Band members switched instruments (e.g. Bob plays drums; Mitch plays drums; Jimmy Pollard plays bass; Greg plays lead guitar; Toby plays pretty much everything; etc.) and Bob gladly accepted input from the rest of the band. Tobin Sprout wrote or co-wrote and sings on six out of the 21 songs.
The aesthetic is very much in keeping with Guided By Voices, but in some unexpected ways (more prevalent use of keyboards and samples, for one thing) the 21st century can’t help but poke its nose into the resulting music. Devoted fans of Bee Thousand will not be disappointed in, for instance, the demonically tuneful "Chocolate Boy," or the relentless chug of "We Won't Apologize For The Human Race," which Tobin Sprout describes as "Peter Gabriel singing 'I Am The Walrus.'" Other standouts include "Doughnut For A Snowman," which Pollard calls "the goofiest, twinkliest song I’ve ever written," or "Spider Fighter," a Tobin Sprout number that was in fact the first song title conceived for the new album, and which features a piano coda that Pollard likens to "a Pete Townshend demo for Lifehouse."
Guided By Voices