Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Failure Announce North American Tour Dates

[press release] Failure, the influential LA trio who recently reunited for their first shows in sixteen years, have announced the Tree of Stars North American 2014 Tour.

The tour kicks off with the band's previously announced Cinquanta shows on May 10 and 11 in Los Angeles and will see shows throughout North America including Chicago, New York and Toronto.

When news of Failure's eagerly-hoped for reunion was confirmed, Ken Andrews spoke with Spin about his, Greg Edwards and Kellii Scott's decision to reunite, explaining that it came as the result of rekindled friendships and the public's deepening appreciation for the music the band created, particularly Fantastic Planet. Decibel Magazine's current issue features a 7-page feature on the recording and reaction to the 17-track album saying, "this is one of those albums that's so perfect, the band almost had to implode after its release."

Failure's first outing of the new millennium was a sold out February show at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. The mesmerizing performance, both captivating in an aural and visual sense, was described by The Orange County Register as "an almost spiritual experience," summarizing the special evening as "no rust, no fluff, just one influential rock favorite after another." The band recently joined Tool, a partnership with an extensive history, on their March tour.

Tree of Stars North American Tour 2014:

May 10 Los Angeles, CA Cinquanta (The Greek Theatre)
May 11 Los Angeles, CA Cinquanta (The Greek Theatre)
May 14 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall*
May 15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall*
May 17 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre*
May 18 Seattle, WA The Showbox*
May 21 Minneapolis, MN The Varsity*
May 22 Chicago, IL The Metro**
May 24 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II**
May 25 Detroit, MI St. Andrew's Hall**
May 26 Toronto, ON Mod Club*
May 27 Toronto, ON Mod Club*
May 29 New York, NY Irving Plaza*
May 30 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts*
May 31 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony*
June 1 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club*
June 3 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg*
June 5 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore*

Tickets for all dates, excluding Cinquanta which previously sold out, are on sale on April 11(*) and 12 (**).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ovlov + Little Big League Announce Split 7"

[press release] Tiny Engines is excited to announce a split 7" release between Philadelphia, PA's Little Big League and Newtown, CT's Ovlov. The split 7" is set for a July release with pre-orders to come in May. Sign up to be notified when pre-orders go live HERE. Song premieres coming soon!

This release follows up 2013 debut LPs from both bands, Little Big League's These Are Good People on Tiny Engines and Ovlov's am on Exploding In Sound.

Both bands have a full slate of shows on the horizon, check the tour dates below.

Split 7" Track Listing:

Side A:
Little Big League - Year Of The Sunhouse
Little Big League - Pure Bliss Choices

Side B:
Ovlov - The Great Crocodile

Little Big League shows:

APR 08 - Philadelphia, PA @ Golden Tea House w/ Cayetana, Strange Relations, Cruiser and Hurry
APR 19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar w/ No Joy, Eternal Summers
APR 26 - Philadelphia, PA @ Golden Tea House w/ Frankie Cosmos, Porches. (Solo) and Alex G
MAY 01 - Newark, DE @ Perkins Student Center at UD w/ Laura Stevenson
MAY 14 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary w/ Seahaven, Adventures, Foxing
MAY 15 - Boston, MA @ The Middle East w/ Seahaven, Adventures, Foxing
MAY 16 - New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall w/ Seahaven, Adventures, Foxing
MAY 17 - New Haven, CT @ The Panty Haus
MAY 18 - Albany,NY @ The Icehouse w/ The Hotelier, Lovechild, Mountain Man
MAY 19 - Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
MAY 20 - Toronto, QC @ Izakaya Sushi House
MAY 21 - Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
MAY 22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Fun Home
MAY 23 - Cleveland, OH @ Mosh Eisley w/ Direct Effect, Rescuer
MAY 24 - Howell, MI @ Bled Fest w/ Title Fight, Bane, Man Overboard, The Menzingers and many more
MAY 25 - Chicago, IL @ The Township w/ Dowsing
MAY 27 - Knoxville, TN @ TBA
MAY 28 - Birmingham, AL @ Seasick Records
MAY 29 - Atlanta, GA @ Wonderroot w/ Emperor X
MAY 30 - Charlotte, NC @ Area 15 w/ It Looks Sad, Alright
MAY 31 - Baltimore, MD @ Charm City Art Space

Ovlov shows:

APR 03 - Philadelphia @ Golden Tea House w/ Disco Doom, Ted Nguyent, LVL UP & Glocca Morra
APR 04 - Hagerstown, MD @ RCM w/ Disco Doom
APR 05 - Harrisonburg, VA @ Macrock w/ Disco Doom, LVL UP, Malatese & more
APR 06 - Columbus, OH @ Kobo Live w/ Disco Doom
APR 07 - Lakewood, OH @ Mahall's 20 Lanes w/ Disco Doom
APR 08 - Toledo, OH @ Frankies w/ Disco Doom
APR 09 - Grand Rapids @ House of Pancakes w/ Disco Doom
APR 10 - Chicago, IL @ Township w/ Disco Doom, My Dad, & Best Witches
APR 11 - St. Louis @ The Firebird w/ Disco Doom
APR 12 - Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet w/ Disco Doom & White Walls
APR 13 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project w/ Disco Doom
APR 19 - Bennington, VT @ Bennington College w/ Speedy Ortiz
APR 25 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East w/ Pile, Mean Creek, Heliotropes & Young Leaves
MAY 10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio w/ Geronimo!, LVL UP & Dead Wives
MAY 15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Dog Morgue w/ Snoozer, Geronimo!, LVL UP, & LMI

Lower Sign to Matador, Ready Debut Album For June

[press release] Copenhagen quartet Lower have announced that they've signed with Matador, and their eagerly anticipated debut album, Seek Warmer Climes, will see release June 17th. The record sparkles with the harmonic dissonance and high-strung urgency of their underground rock forebears, but Lower ­- Adrian Toubro (vocals), Simon Formann (guitar), Kristian Emdal (bass) and Anton Rothstein (drums) - also channel the romance and drama of great singer-songwriters, from late-period Scott Walker to Bryan Ferry. The result is a hugely ambitious and affecting rock album that enters deeply personal and unusual sonic and topical spaces.

Certainly, you don't have to dig deep to hear how far Lower's music sits from the traditional concerns of modern rock music. Toubro's lyrics are finely wrought emotional dramas that, in their poetic construction and raw honesty of delivery, gesture to the music of Walker or Leonard Cohen. "Every song on the record deals in some way with personal development, be it emotional or cosmetic," says Toubro. "How to act in different social contexts, and to acclimatize oneself into a given situation without losing face." They've shared the first single off the record, "Lost Weight, Perfect Skin," a perfect representation of the trauma inherent in "cosmetic improvement." Also, the band has announced a slew of US dates that will fall before the record's release, as well as dates in the UK with Fucked Up.

LISTEN TO "LOST WEIGHT, PERFECT SKIN" BELOW! Pre-order Seek Warmer Climes w/ instant grat mp3 of "Lost Weight, Perfect Skin" HERE. Pre-order Seek Warmer Climes on LP & CD HERE.

Seek Warmer Climes Tracklist:

01. Another Life
02. Daft Persuasion
03. Lost Weight, Perfect Skin
04. Unkempt And Uncaring
05. Expanding Horizons (Dar Es Salam)
06. Bastard Tactics
07. Soft Option
08. Craver
09. Tradition
10. Arrows

Lower Tour Dates:

Thu. May 01 - Sun. May 4 - SPOT Festival - Aarhus, DK
Fri. May 16 - Sat. May 17 - The Church On York - Los Angeles, CA (with Iceage, Puce Mary, Sexdrome)
Sun. May 18 - Wall Street - Phoenix, AZ
Mon. May 19 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA
Tue. May 20 - Holland Project - Reno, NV
Wed. May 21 - Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA
Thu. May 22 - 1234 Go! - Oakland, CA
Fri. May 23 - Munoz Boxing Gym - Bakersfield, CA
Sat. May 24 - E 7th Street - Los Angeles, CA
Tue. May 27 - Cafe Nine - New Haven, CT
Wed. May 28 - Home Sweet Home (Nothing Changes) - New York, NY
Thu. May 29 - Golden Tea House - Philadelphia, CA
Fri. May 30 - Acheron - Brooklyn, NY
Tue. Jun 10 - Point Ephemere - Paris, FR
Sun. Jun 15 - Gorilla - Manchester, UK (with Fucked Up)
Mon. Jun 16 - The Cluny - Newcastle, UK (with Fucked Up)
Tue. Jun 17 - Belgrave - Leeds, UK (with Fucked Up)
Wed. Jun 18 - Koko - London, UK (with Fucked Up)


Review by Zack Wilks

Maybe it’s because I’m too caffeinated to second guess myself and because I’ve always wanted to do this, but I hereby coin a new sub-sub-genre of music: Zappa punk. Zappapunk. zappa-punk. I can’t decide which looks better. And in contradiction to what I’ve been telling myself about the allocation of music into arbitrary and oft-faulty classifications, here’s the definition: Zappa punk is wacky music that is self-conscious enough to acknowledge its own silliness, is simultaneously loud and noisy and technically virtuosic, maintains whatever the hell people call “punk ethos” but is unafraid to stray from the parameters that can constrain punk as a genre, and is lyrically witty—at times just plain goofy.

Yeah, I know Zappa punk isn’t a real genre and never will be, but at the moment it feels like a pretty good descriptor of the seemingly unpronounceable Philly outfit Ted Nguyent’s sound. It’s also cool that Dan’s having me review this because they’re playing a bud’s basement next month, and if this record is any indication of what their live show is like, then you’ve got to go see them (and if you’re in Philly, see them at the Dog Morgue on 4/19).

Ted Nguyent’s debut LP is called Don’t Vote (Ranch Records), and it isn’t shy with first impressions. Take, for example, the opening lyrics of “¿Adonde Vas?”: “Came home, you were watching Spanglish/Eating beans, but you don’t like beans.” If you’re turned off by how silly those lyrics are, stop listening. For the rest of you—people with souls and senses of humor—keep on listening; expect discussions of weird stalker-love, who-actually-killed-Kurt-Cobain? conspiracy theories and pokes at paternal failure, among other incredibly pressing topics.

I’m gonna board the Ted-Nguyent-is-a-really-fun-band train with this review, and that’s because they are in fact a really fucking fun band. Don’t Vote exemplifies a certain breed of party pop-punk that manages to remain melodic while also being a bit too weird for your mom. Every song on the album juxtaposes familiar pop sounds and structures with more experimental aspects like shaky, dissonant vocal harmonies and disjointed, rhythmic sequences similar to Drive Like Jehu’s sound on Yank Crime. Both bands love dissonance and breaking 4/4 time, but Ted Nguyent condense those ideas into shorter songs and stranger, funnier lyrics. Though I’d love to write an essay on the duality of comedic and dark themes that present themselves in lyrics like “Nobody taught him how to talk/Why can’t they teach my kid to talk” (read: lyrics in The Wrens’ The Meadowlands) from “The PPA Took My Baby Away,” or “My body is a temple of doom” (self-deprecating/kinda funny) from the song of the same name, I won’t. The musicianship displayed on this record is just as important as the lyrics; Ted Nguyent is just three dudes, but they still sound big enough to shake an off-campus house and get the cops called.

The dirty twang of the guitar intro to “Forever Growing Greasier” is worth keeping the song on repeat, as is its incredibly tasteful use of harmonics. It’s just technical enough to remain catchy; by the end you’ll be shouting “I think I’m in love” with the band. “Beach Anarchy” begins with a rhythmically bastardized take on the beach rock sound before descending into a full-out cut time punk progression. Guitar, bass and drums turn over on themselves as the tune genre-bends Mr. Bungle style—the chorus is a modern, noisier take on classic beach pop. “Jalapanos Islands” probably displays the most impressive musicianship on the record, and that might be because I’m incredibly biased since it reminds me a lot of Slint. There are flatted fifths, unsettlingly dissonant guitar leads, bass chords, and not a single “normal” time signature to be heard. It’s basically a Slint song if Slint decided to write for Adult Swim (the lyrics are about tex-mex islands overflowing with taco sauce and nacho cheese). It’s a perfect concluding song to an album that seamlessly combines light and dark themes, both musically and lyrically.

Spanning a whopping 18 minutes, Don’t Vote is weird and noisy and fast and unlike anything else released in 2014 so far. And if Ted Nguyent are out there to poke at what everyone says is safe and normal and okay, then we’re right there thrashing about the water with them, rebellious and free; it might seem like a silly thing to do, but it sure as hell feels right.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Buzz Osborne (Melvins) Announces Tour Dates

[press release] Melvins' front man Buzz Osborne has confirmed a seven-week U.S. tour, which kicks off June 10 at The Casbah in San Diego.

Osborne previously announced the release of his first solo, acoustic release, This Machine Kills Artists, which is set for a June 3 release via Ipecac Recordings. Rolling Stone recently premiered the song "Dark Brown Teeth" (HERE), describing the track as "doomy, ill-angled" and with the "Beefheartian edge his band is renown for."

Osborne will document the solo outing through an ongoing travelogue on Noisey.com.

May 17 Pomona, CA Scion Rock Fest
June 10 San Diego, CA The Casbah
June 11 Echo Park, CA The Echo
June 12 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
June 13 Fresno, CA Strummer's
June 14 Sacramento, CA Assembly
June 15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
June 17 Eugene, OR Wow Hall
June 18 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
June 20 Seattle, WA Neumo's
June 21 Bellingham, WA The Shakedown
June 22 Spokane, WA The Hop
June 23 Missoula, MT The Palace
June 24 Billings, MT The Railyard
June 26 Fargo, ND The Aquarium
June 27 Minneapolis, MN Grumpy's
June 28 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
June 30 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
July 1 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
July 2 Detroit, MI Small's
July 3 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
July 6 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
July 7 Portland, ME Portland City Music Hall
July 10 Allston, MA Brighton Music Hall
July 12 Hamden, CT The Ballroom at The Outerspace
July 13 New York, NY Santos Party House
July 14 Brooklyn, NY The Wick
July 15 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
July 17 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
July 18 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
July 20 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle
July 22 Atlanta, GA The Basement
July 23 Birmingham, AL The Bottle Tree
July 25 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack's
July 26 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
July 27 Austin, TX Red 7
July 28 Sam Antonio, TX Limelight
July 30 Tucson, AZ Club Congress
July 31 Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet's

Tickets will be available this Friday, April 4.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Red Fang + Big Business Announce Tour Dates

[press release] Scion Audio Visual presents Red Fang's Spring tour, Situation: AWESOME!, the Portland band's first Stateside outing in 2014. The one-month trek kicks off May 16 at Slim's in San Francisco and includes a stop at Scion AV's Rock Fest in Pomona on May 17.

As part of the Scion AV-sponsored tour, Red Fang will release a new single titled "The Meadows" in early May, with a limited edition 7-inch available along the tour. A video for the song will arrive during the Situation: AWESOME! tour.

Red Fang released Whales and Leeches in October, with the eleven-song album quickly becoming the band's best-selling and most critically acclaimed release to date. Alternative Press described the album as "bigger, bolder, heavier, catchier and even more savagely fun," Stereogum said the release "takes flight and soars," while Magnet Magazine said Whales and Leeches "is a monumental success - a clear line from Red Fang's earliest recordings to it latest."

The band performed single "Blood Like Cream" on The Late Show with David Letterman in January (HERE) and also issued a hilarious video for the song, featuring Portlandia creator/Late Night with Seth Meyers' bandleader Fred Armisen and the band members during an unusual zombie invasion (below).

A Twitter sweepstakes will be ongoing throughout the tour, with two pairs being given away per show HERE.

Big Business and American Sharks support on all dates.

May 16 San Francisco, CA Slim's
May 17 Pomona, CA Scion Rock Fest
May 18 San Diego, CA Porter's Pub
May 19 Tucson, AZ Club Congress
May 21 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill
May 22 Austin, TX Mohawk Outside
May 23 Houston, TX Fitzgerald's (Upstairs)
May 24 New Orleans, LA The Parish @ House of Blues
May 25 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
May 27 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 30 Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero
May 31 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
June 1 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern
June 2 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
June 3 Chicago, IL The Wire
June 4 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights
June 6 Denver, CO Gothic Theatre
June 7 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
June 8 Boise, ID Neurolux

Tickets are on-sale Friday, April 4.

Parquet Courts Announce New Album "Sunbathing Animal" For June Release

[press release] The year and change since the release of Parquet Courts' monumental Light Up Gold is reflected in ways expected and not with Sunbathing Animal, its sharper, harder follow up, due out June 3rd via What's Your Rupture?/Mom+Pop (out June 2nd on Rough Trade outside the US). Following their quietly released 2011 debut American Specialties, Light Up Gold caught the ears of everyone paying even a little bit of attention, garnering glowing reviews across the board for its weird colors and raw energy, saturated punk songs that offered crystal clear lyrical snapshots of city life. It was immediately memorable, a vivid portrait of ragged days, listlessness, aimlessness and urgency, broadcast with the intimacy of hearing a stranger's thoughts as you passed them on the street.

As it goes with these things, the band went on tour for a short eternity, spending most of 2013 on the road, their sound growing more direct in the process and their observations expanding beyond life at home. Constant touring was broken up by three recording sessions that would make up the new album, and the time spent in transit comes through in repeated lyrical themes of displacement, doubt and situational captivity. To be sure, Sunbathing Animal isn't a record about hopelessness, as any sort of incarceration implies an understanding of freedom and peace of mind. Fleeting moments of bliss are also captured in its grooves, and extended at length as if to preserve them. Pointed articulations of these ideas are heard as schizoid blues rants, shrill guitar leads, purposefully lengthy repetition and controlled explosions, reaching their peak on the blistering title track. A propulsive projection of how people might play the blues 300 years from now, "Sunbathing Animal" is a roller coaster you can't get off, moving far too fast and looping into eternity.

Much as Light Up Gold and the subsequent EP Tally All The Things That You Broke offered a uniquely tattered perspective on everyday city life, Sunbathing Animal applies the same layered thoughts and sprawling noise to more cerebral, inward-looking themes. While heightened in its heaviness and mania, the album also represents a huge leap forward in terms of songwriting and vision. Still rooted firmly in the unshackled exploration and bombastic playing of their earlier work, everything here is amplified in its lucidity and intent. The songs wander through threads of blurry brilliance, exhaustion and fury at the hilt of every note. Parquet Courts remain, Austin Brown, A. Savage, Sean Yeaton, and M. Savage.


Pre-order Sunbathing Animal LP & CD HERE. Pre-order Sunbathing Animal on iTunes HERE.


1. Bodies
2. Black and White
3. Dear Ramona
4. What Color Is Blood
5. Vienna II
6. Always Back In Town
7. She's Rollin
8. Sunbathing Animal
9. Up All Night
10. Instant Disassembly
11. Duckin And Dodgin
12. Raw Milk
13. Into The Garden


Thu. May 22 - Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth Bar
Fri. May 23 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir w/ Naomi Punk
Sat. May 24 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret w/ Naomi Punk
Sun. May 25 - George, WA @ Sasquatch Music Festival
Tue. May 27 - San Francisco, CA @ Independent w/ CCR Headcleaner
Wed. May 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy
Thu. May 29 - Austin, TX @ Red 7 w/ Radioactivity
Mon. June 2 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald's w/ Radioactivity
Tue. June 3 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Swearin'
Wed. June 4 - Memphis, TN @ The Hi-Tone w/ Protomartyr, True Sons of Thunder
Fri. June 6 - Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness w/ Protomartyr
Sat. June 7 - Detroit, MI @ PJ's Lager House w/ Protomartyr, Tyvek
Sun. June 8 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern w/ Protomartyr, Tyvek
Mon. June 9 - Montreal, QC @ Il Motore w/ Protomartyr, Tyvek
Tue. June 10 - Boston, MA @ TT the Bears w/ Protomartyr
Wed. June 11 - Brooklyn, NY @ Sugarhill Supper Club w/ Protomartyr, Future Punx, Xerox
Fri. June 21 - Glasgow, UK @ SWG3
Sat. June 22 - Liverpool, UK @ Kazimier
Sun. June 23 - Birmingham, UK @ Birmingham Institute
Tue. June 25 - London, UK @ ULU
Wed. June 26 - Oxford, UK @ Oxford Academy 2
Sun. June 29 - Marmande, FR @ Garorock
Sun. July 6 - Rotselaar, BE @ Rock Werchter
Mon. July 7 - Groningen, NE @ Vera Project
Tue. July 8 - Paris, FR @ Le Divan Du Monde
Wed. July 9 - La Rochelle, FR @ La Sirene Club
Thu. July 10 - Bilbao, SP @ Bilbao BBK
Fri. July 11 - Lisbon, PO @ Alive Festival
Sat. July 12 - Russelheim, DE @ Phono Pop
Wed. July 16 - Berlin, DE @ Cassiopaia
Thu. July 17 - Grafenhainichen, DE @ Melt
Fri. July 18 - Dublin, IE @ Longitude Festival
Sun. July 20 - Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival
Fri. July 25 - Niigata, JP @ Naeba Ski Resort (Fuji Rock Festival)
Sat. Aug. 2 - Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
Sun. Aug. 3 - Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Creepoid Ready New EP "Wet" For Record Store Day

[press release] Creepoid formed during a snow storm in December of 2009, born from boredom and cabin fever. The band consists of Sean Miller (guitar) Pete Urban IV (guitar) Anna Troxell (bass) and Patrick Troxell (drums). Their first 7”, Yellow Life Giver, was self-released in April of 2010, followed by their debut full-length Horse Heaven in January of 2011 (Ian Records).

After almost instantly selling out of the first pressing, No Idea Records re-released Horse Heaven in March of 2012. Their S/T sophomore LP CREEPOID, produced by Kyle “Slick” Johnson (WAVVES, Modest Mouse, The So So Glos), was released on March 4, 2014; again with No Idea Records.

They have shared the stage with Kurt Vile, Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Best Coast, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Obits, Twin Shadow, Warpaint, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Night Beats, Bardo Pond, Psychic Ills, Wooden Shjips, R Stevie Moore, Black Lips, The Love Language, Purling Hiss, Telekinesis, Cloud Nothings, Jacuzzi Boys, Kid Congo, Asteroid #4, and more.

The newest EP Wet is their debut on Graveface Records, to be released on Record Store Day - April 19th, 2014. A one sided 12”, it features 4 new songs and a B side etching.

Spring Tour Dates:

03/28 · New York, NY – St. Vitus w/ Whores. & Fight Amp
03/29 · Cambridge, MA – Lilypad Inman
04/04 · Wilkes Barre, PA – Otherside
04/05 · Syracuse, NY – Gorham Brothers Music
04/30 · New York, NY – Cakeshop
05/17 · Montreal, QC – Pouzza Fest
05/18 · New York, NY – Death By Audio

REVIEW: LUSHES "What Am I Doing"

Review by Zach Wilks

This is where the grand sweeping statement about the current clash between the digital and analog would go. Here’s where I would expand on it, making unacceptable generalizations about this generation (millennials, an aptly-titled imaginary term) and somehow tie it back into indie culture (vinyl, Polaroid, cassette, vintage clothes, Apple, etc.). Narrow the focus, and here’s where it rests on music, more specifically the hybrid genre of rock crossed with electronic/computer-driven sounds. Keep on narrowing, and here’s the DIY scene, there’s the Brooklyn scene; look to the left and there’s an album cover with two strips of blue painter’s tape on it, a nearly blank slate waiting to be painted over, unless you consider the scarcity a component of the art (or the art itself). Here’s Lushes’ debut LP, What Am I Doing.

Out on the Felte, What Am I Doing combines the hard, the beautiful and the just-plain-odd, creating something else entirely. The first single from the record, “Harsh,” really is a misnomer. Expect something driving and loud and noisy and instead you get clean guitar harmonics, ambient synth noises, and drums that debauch the notion of the 4/4 time signature, bringing to mind the sound of Touch and Go artists of years past. Whereas Slint and Rodan embraced and beautified dissonance, Lushes do a similar thing with consonance. Space-y, Radiohead-esque synths overpower guitars and fill the sonic space in much the same way a distorted flatted fifth would assault your ears on a guitar.

“One Right Word” is the mathiest of all the tunes, opening with clean, pull-off guitar before it transitions into a glitchy loop reminiscent of Don Caballero’s general vibe. The music begins to trip over itself rhythmically as lead singer James Ardery wonders: “Is this ship gonna sink/Well I don’t know it’s getting deep.” This sort of dichotomy between conventional “good” sounds and rhythmic tweaking is what Lushes do best on What Am I Doing.

This is about the point where my musician consciousness kicks in and I wonder how the hell they put this music together. Keep in mind that Lushes is just two dudes: singer/guitarist James Ardery and drummer Joel Daniel Meyers. Sorry if I’m straying from the topic at hand, but we’ve probably reached a golden age of the guitar/drum duo band. It started with the White Stripes and the Black Keys and other “garage” blues rock bands, and now we’ve got amazing and experimental outfits like DZ Deathrays, Washer and Yvette. Add Lushes to that group. You can hear the incredible musicianship and careful songcraft in tracks like ten-minute epic “Feastin” and slow-builder “Warm Contagion.” All the rises and falls are perfectly executed; when Lushes want it to get big, it gets big. A lot of that happens because the way they perfectly mix together live guitar sounds and loops, but the drums also add a great deal. Part of that is the crystal-clear production, but after you listen to the album for the first time, go back and listen to how Meyers’s drumming reflects and amplifies the melodic aspects of the music. It really is incredible (especially that shift from a shuffle feel to a straight 4/4 at the end of “Traffic;” that shit’s tasty).

Fluttering synths bring in the What Am I Doing’s concluding track, “Garden.” The sparseness of the sound (just drums/bass/synth) captures the visceral punch of late Talk Talk music; layers of instrumentation work to add emotional weight to an incredibly simple harmonic structure. This sort of re-appropriation is what makes What Am I Doing great. Lushes draw from their influences in the most abstract way, allowing the essence of their predecessors to come through in the music. It sort of reminds you of Radiohead and Slint and Don Caballero, but not enough that it hits you right in the face. In doing so, Lushes create their own musical world with this release, one that is not afraid to simultaneously draw from and completely re-work its influences.

What Am I Doing is an incredibly ambitious and well-executed debut album; it introduces a lot of cool sounds I didn’t think existed (listen to the weird guitar tones at the end of "Traffic" [and the opera singer, too]) and makes me incredibly excited to see what the future of Lushes brings. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Slint Debut "Pam (Rough Mix)" From Spiderland Reissue

[pitchfork.com] On April 15, Touch and Go will reissue Slint's classic 1991 album Spiderland as a deluxe box set, which comes packaged with demos and outtakes. Today, the band has shared one of those outtakes—a rough mix of the track "Pam". Listen HERE.

Check out our interview with the band HERE, and find their tour dates below.


04-29 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
04-30 Asbury Park, NJ - The Stone Pony
05-01 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
05-02 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
05-04 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05-06 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
05-08 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
05-09 Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
05-10 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
05-11 Minneapolis, MN - Mill City Nights

Watch a trailer for the box set:

Tony Molina's "Dissed and Dismissed" Reissue Is Out Today!!

[press release] Constantly juggling hardcore and pop projects, veteran Bay Area musician Tony Molina has won over fans in both camps. Since 2002, Molina has played in several bands including Dystrophy, Ovens, Lifetime Problems, Caged Animal, Violent Change and his current solo work. In all of this projects, Molina values lyrical simplicity, structural concision, and the emotional impact of gnarly guitar riffs.

Most recently he released the Six Tracks EP through Matador Records' Singles Going Home Alone series. Featuring five brief power-pop originals on the A-side and a stellar cover of Metallica's "Orion" on the flip, it contains a bona-fide pop hit in "Breakin' Up," a tuff tune that recalls the best of Dinosaur Jr. and Teenage Fanclub and sounds for all the world like a great lost 70s radio hit. Pure magic.

Two other recent releases - the wistful riff rock of his first solo album, Dissed and Dismissed, and his hardcore band Caged Animal's barbaric debut EP - illustrate the striking dichotomy that has run throughout Molina's discography over the last eleven years. On Dissed and Dismissed, Molina intensifies the slacker clichés and self-deprecation of 90s indie rock into absurdist hyperbole. He expresses vulnerability and melodrama through bizarre truisms while referencing his forebears: Thin Lizzy leads, Radiohead lyrics, Replacements sneer. Molina appropriates unapologetically (openly paying tribute to Guided By Voices with a sterling cover of their "Wandering Boy Poet"), but distills the past into bursts of reverence less than a minute long.

Dissed and Dismissed was released earlier last year on San Francisco's Melters label. The album struck a chord with savvy listeners, gathered some great reviews and rapidly sold-out of its initial pressing. Slumberland Records is proud to bring you a reissue of this fine album on March 25, 2014 (today) on red vinyl LP, cassette and as a digital download. Dig its indelible tunes and shredding leads while we wait for the new Tony Molina full-length, to be released on Slumberland later in 2014.

Tony Molina - Dissed and Dismissed (Slumberland) Tracklist:

1. Nowhere To Go
2. Change My Ways
3. Can't Believe
4. Tear Me Down
5. Nothing I Can Do
6. Sick Ass Riff
7. See Me Through
8. Don't Come Back
9. Spoke Too Soon
10. The Way Things Are
11. Wandering Boy Poet
12. Walk Away

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Buzz Osborne (Melvins) Readies Solo Debut "This Machine Kills Artists" for June Release

[press release] Buzz Osborne, the legendary grunge progenitor who has helmed the Melvins for thirty plus years, releases his debut solo full-length album, This Machine Kills Artists, on June 3 via Ipecac Recordings.

"I have no interest in sounding like a crappy version of James Taylor or a half-assed version of Woody Guthrie," said the grunge progenitor of the 17-song offering, continuing, "which is what happens when almost every rock and roller straps on an acoustic guitar. No thanks... This Machine Kills Artists is a different kind of animal."

Rolling Stone gave listeners early access to music from Osborne's acoustic release, premiering the song "Dark Brown Teeth" HERE. The magazine described the song as "doomy, ill-angled" and with the "Beefheartian edge his band is renown for."

Osborne is currently touring for the first time as a solo artist, wrapping up a three-week trek that included a SXSW interview session with The Stooges' James Williamson. Remaining dates are: March 20 at Zanzabar in Louisville, March 21 at Radio Radio in Indianapolis, March 22 at Beat Kitchen in Chicago and March 23 at the High Noon Saloon in Madison. An extensive North American tour kicking off in June will be announced shortly.

This Machine Kills Artists track listing:

Dark Brown Teeth
Rough Democracy
Laid Back Walking
Drunken Baby
Vaulting Over A Microphone
New River
The Vulgar Joke
Everything's Easy For You
The Ripping Driving
How I Became Offensive
Instrument of God
The Spoiled Brat
Illegal Mona
Good and Hostile
The Blithering Idiot
Useless King of the Punks
The Hesitation Twist

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quick Notes: Astral Swans, The Shrine, Odonis Odonis

*[press release] From the unfiltered inner monologue of Calgary’s Matthew Swann, Astral Swans is the sound of time spent next to the radiator in a cold apartment. Swann’s observations are stark and personal, bringing to mind images of the American underground’s various eras. Equally inspired by 60′s folk, no wave, and 90′s sludge, Astral Swans is at once: haunting, sincere, psychedelic, and strange – picture Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, Syd Barrett, and Sibyelle Baier, interpreted via Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Eric's Trip, and Chad Vangaalen (who produced Swann's previous project, Extra Happy Ghost!!!) He lacks the usual pretense of the “singer/songwriter” and one gets the feeling that his cleverness is almost accidental; it’s just what happened.

“You Carry A Sickness/Park Street” 7" will be released on March 25, 2014 via Madic Records.

Tour Dates:

Mar 20/14 Victoria, BC Lucky Bar w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 22/14 Vancouver, BC Media Club w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 23/14 Kelowna, BC Streaming Café w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 24/14 Canmore, AB Communitea w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 25/14 Calgary, AB Festival Hall w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 26/14 Edmonton, AB The Artery w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 27/14 Saskatoon, SK Vangels w/ Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast
Mar 28/14 Regina, SK O’Hanlon’s
Apr 29/14 Toronto, ON The Horseshoe Free
May 13/14 Montreal, QC Le Cabaret Du Mile End w/ Chad Vangaalen, Cousins

*[LAweekly.com] Venice power trio The Shrine burst onto the scene with their 2012 debut Primitive Blast. The group's mission statement was to skate, surf, and rock the fuck out. Their infectiously catchy tracks appealed equally to fans of early '80s SST Records hardcore and stoner rock acts like Fu Manchu.

The group's sophomore effort, Bless Off, came out last Tuesday, March 11th. It continues to trumpet the love of the three things the band held most dear on their debut. We debut the first music video from the album, for the song "Worship." It is below.

The track is a two-and-a-half-minute blast. It gets up and goes from the very first note, fueled by short bursts of fuzzed-out guitar work from frontman Josh Landau. The video itself is a photo journal tribute to skating, surfing, and rocking out, which moves along at the same breakneck pace of the tune itself. Enjoy!

*[stereogum.com] The last video we saw from Odonis Odonis was a creepy story set to the noisy and chaotic “New Obsession,” so it would totally understandable if you were to watch this and think it was the work of a completely different band. But that’s just the way Odonis Odonis’ new album, Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled, works. Side A is all industrial punk, followed by a smooth and sweeter second half. “Angus Mountain” comes from that second half and it’s a prettier track than “New Obsession,” set to a visual that’s a little easier on the eyes. The Jesse Yules-directed video folds up images of the band like origami while using a hypnotic mirroring effect that makes everything fold in on itself. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but with that symmetrical effect, it brings to mind Nicolas Provost’s classic experimental short film “Papillion D’Amour.” Watch the music video below. Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled is out 4/15 via Buzz Records.


Review by Zack Wilks

The stupidest thing I could do to start this review would probably be putting The Beatles and Flagland in the same sentence. Well I just did, so fuck “probably.” Weirdly enough, the opening track off Flagland’s new album Love Hard sounds like a Beatles home recording if John and Paul combined voices, each downed a couple forties, and invented punk rock but were too coy to release their new vision of rock ‘n’ roll onto the world. Not quite sure what any of that means. Basically, Flagland start off their latest full length (pressed to plastic by the Father/Daughter label) in a sort of fun, woozy, slightly buzzed-after-a-few-hours-out way that ends up tying the whole record together.

In an interview with mysocialist, principle songwriter and singer Kerry Kahlberg said that the LP was initially intended to be two EPs. One would’ve gotten the harder songs, the other the softer ones (in the thematic sense; none these songs are “soft” in the folk singer/songwriter sense). Instead, Flagland present us with a 20 track long player. The combination can certainly be heard in the contrast both musically and lyrically between songs like “Happiness” and “Monster.”

Musically, Flagland run the whole gamut; you’re gonna hear descending chord progression pop-rock-y type songs like “Comfortable Life” and Black Flag-infused punk stereo-wreckers like “Searchers.” The range of guitar tones, dynamic shifts, and time signature fuckeries that can be heard on this record really is very impressive. That sort of tightness as a group can only be achieved by playing lots and lots of shows, and that experience is present on this record; every note strummed, every lyric shakily sung or screamed, every drum whacked is done so with the conviction and confidence of a band that’s been together for a long while. And somehow the record is still dripping with adrenaline-induced post-show sweat in the best sense—you punch holes in walls to some of these songs, you grab your best friend around the shoulder and do the can-can, you spill your beer a little bit but not enough to not enjoy it. That’s the sort of thing you do to the sound of Love Hard.

Lyrically, there are discussions of domestic abuse (“Monster”), slacked-out bummer musings (“Not a Joke”), and tickle-your-bones pokes at white privilege (“Straight White Male”). Like the actual instrumentation of the record, the lyrics cover a wide range of themes. But no matter the subject matter, these songs are fucking catchy. Once you get over how awesome the guitars sound in “Sugarcube,” you’ll find yourself singing, “You’re my sugarcube/So sweet, so sweet” (and then watch as this reviewer swoons as the half-time kicks in at the end of the song). You’ll shout, “Let it go? Let it go?!/No I won’t let it go!” You’ll find yourself standing up out of your chair, wanting to shout at the top of your lungs, then just kind of sitting back down and hoping no one else in the room noticed you nearly make a fool of yourself.

Love Hard is an incredibly fun record, even when it does tackle some more serious issues lyrically. Go see them play the album and jump around in their underwear at Shea Stadium. Then you’ll see how they captured that energy on this record and maybe jump around in your underwear, too.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Northside Music 2014 Announces Initial Line-Up: Big Ups, Eagulls, Titus Andronicus + More

[press release] Northside Festival is back for 2014, welcoming over 90,000 attendees to venues spanning Williamsburg and Greenpoint on June 12-19, 2014. Now in its sixth year, Brooklyn’s largest discovery festival is once again poised to highlight the best up-and-coming Music, Film and Innovation.

Northside Music (June 12-15) will bring over 400 bands from Brooklyn and beyond for a showcase of what’s next in music. A teaser of this year’s lineup includes Big Ups, Low Fat Getting High, Sharon Van Etten, Fuck Buttons, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Courtney Barnett, Omar Souleyman, Eagulls, Vulture Shit, Mas Ysa, Luke Temple, and more, with curated shows from such neighborhood tastemakers as Pitchfork, BrooklynVegan, Sacred Bones Records, Captured Tracks, Ad Hoc, NYC Popfest, BreakThru Radio and The Deli Magazine. Per festival tradition, two huge free shows will be held at a 6,000-capacity space in McCarren Park on June 14 and 15. For more of the lineup and further announcements, visit the official Northside site HERE.

Northside Innovation (June 12-13) is proud to present some of its most prestigious speakers yet, featuring: Chad Dickerson, Etsy; Kerry Trainor, Vimeo; Andy Dunn, Bonobos; Phin Barnes, First Round Capital; Jennifer Fleiss, Rent the Runway; Lockhart Steele, Curbed; Soraya Darabi, Zady; Mario Schlosser, Oscar; Amanda Peyton, Grand St., and many more to come! Check out an up-to-date list of speakers here: http://northsidefestival.com/innovation/innovation-line-up/.

Northside Festival also welcomes back to McCarren Park the Northside Trade Show on June 12-13, featuring hundreds of leading exhibitors including Moat, SendGrid, Ghostery, NYCEDC, Gilt Groupe, Handybook, One Fine Stay, The End Records and Brooklyn's premier innovation and technology jobs fair.

Northside Film is pleased to announce Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and producer of the films Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) and Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) as the 2014 Northside DIY Film Competition jury chair! She'll be joined by Parker Posey, Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, Keep the Lights On), Matthew Grady (Factory 25) and Kentucker Audley (NoBudge Films, Sun Don't Shine). The open call for submissions has been extended until March 10 - for more information on how to enter, visit HERE.

Winners will receive a prize package totaling over $10,000 in value, including: complimentary filmmaker services at DCTV, a six-month community membership at the Made in NY Media Center, one year of IFP membership (including access to IFP's resources and a subscription to Filmmaker Magazine), as well as a week pass to the 5-day Filmmaker Conference during Independent Film Week, a cash prize and special event to celebrate the winning short and feature hosted by Northside Film.

Northside Film will also partner with top critics and film organizations to curate programs for 2014 including: BAMcinemaFest, BOMB Magazine, DCTV, Factory 25, Film Comment Selects, Filmwax Radio, IFC Films, IFP, indieWIRE, N+1FR (the N+1 Film Review), Reverse Shot, Shooting People, and more!

Northside is very proud to welcome back Jameson Irish Whiskey and introduce VH1 and Palladia as Platinum partners to the 2014 Festival. As in years past, Jameson is sure to bring some authentic Irish hospitality and its independent spirit to celebrate the local Brooklyn community. A huge thanks to all for their support. Stay tuned for more details on the creative activations they will be showcasing this June.

Early Bird Music Badges ($65), Innovation Badges ($245), Film Badges ($25), and Premium Badges ($275) are on sale now! Purchase badges HERE. Purchase single-show tickets HERE.