Sunday, November 29, 2009

Exploding in Sound presents... CIRCULATORY SYSTEM!!


The year is coming to a close, and the world approaches the ever futuristic sounding year 2010. With the decade in its closing stages, a strange and disjointed musical era comes to an end, but not before Exploding In Sound returns with the biggest and most triumphant compilation yet… CIRCULATORY SYSTEM. Like the organ system that spreads nutrients our bodies can’t live without, helping fight disease, Exploding In Sound aims to do similar for your musical distribution network with the fourth installment of its acclaimed series. Through the nineteen track Circulatory System compilation, I aim to spread great new music to everyone interested in helping fight the disease that is tired old generic rock. It’s with the spreading of the compilation that we can combat the toxins being force fed to us with truly incredible new music that will prove beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. Featuring new music from some of the greatest independent bands in the world including The Willowz, Rishloo, Constants, Radio Moscow, Irepress, Stomacher, The Boxing Lesson, and many more, Circulatory System is a 100% FREE digital download, containing artwork, band descriptions, links for further enjoyment, and more. With a release date strategically following in the wake of Thanksgiving weekend, I am enormously thankful and humbly gracious for everyone who has helped put this record together, especially the bands, their labels, and management. Without the willingness and cooperation of these incredible artists none of this would be possible, and your cooperation is appreciated and never forgotten. To the fans of the site, thanks for your continued support and I know you'll enjoy what I truly believe to be the most spectacular compilation yet! As always, support the artists and great music will continue to be made. Thanks.

Sharing of the download link is HIGHLY recommended and encouraged to anyone and everyone you think might be interested. As this is a FREE compilation, the goal is to gain the maximum audience achievable, and the power of word of mouth is never underestimated. THE TIME TO LET THE ‘CIRCULATORY SYSTEM’ FLOW HAS ARRIVED… GET OUT THERE AND DOWNLOAD, SHARE, POST, and SPREAD the word to everyone you know. Great music is being made, and it’s up to us, the fans, to deliver it to as many willing listeners as possible. ENJOY!

Special thanks go out to all of the bands, Zachary Howard for his incredible artwork, Ty Griffin (tygriffin.net), Lindsay and Joel at The Mylene Sheath, Ben Gram, Craig Cirinelli, Mary Ghaffari, Larry Suglio, Ryan Cano (The Loyalty Firm), Casey Tipton, Alex Mohler, Tony Pennington, Jenny Tuite, Ridd Sorenson, Pete at Ernest Jenning Record Co, my family, friends, and everyone who is supporting the cause. We're only getting started.

- Dan Goldin / Exploding In Sound





Tracklisting and Artist Information:

1. Radio Moscow – I Just Don’t Know (from the album Brain Cycles)

Storming out from Story City, Iowa, Radio Moscow have been making an impressive name for themselves over the past few years with their raucous amalgamation of blues, garage, and stoner rock that shines pure and uncompromising. While comparisons to a heavier version of The Black Keys are inevitable, not too shockingly the band was first “discovered” by The Keys’ Dan Auerbach who produced their debut album. Radio Moscow has made an enormous leap since their debut, with their most recent offering Brain Cycles, a fuzzy, psychedelic, time shifting, jam inducing, freak-out.

BUY THE ALBUM.

2. The Willowz – Repetition (from the album Everyone)

The Willowz have been making great garage inspired alternative rock since the beginning of the decade, with each new record exceeding the previous. As the band ages, so do their musical influences, incorporating elements of blues, soul, Americana, punk, and grunge into a uniquely catchy sonic assault. Richie James Follin (singer/guitarist) oozes with a confident swagger in his voice, and the Willowz eclectic style exudes a raw coolness that can’t be manufactured. Their new album Everyone, a set of ten infectious tracks that will emblaze themselves in your memory, is now available digitally, and will be in stores December 15th.

BUY THE ALBUM.

If you just can’t get enough of these guys (and I know I can’t) be sure to check out Richie and Loren’s (drums) further musical output as Barracks. Their self-titled debut album is available for FREE download HERE!! Similar to their music with The Willowz, Barracks sound is heavier and far more psychedelic. The riffs are explosive and the rhythms pounding with a strong 90’s grunge tonal quality. Be sure to check this out!

3. Ultra Violent Lights – In Lieu of Pay (from the album Here in Filth)

The time to take notice has arrived, Ultra Violent Lights’ debut record is available everywhere, and has been restoring faith in mainstream rock with each new listener. The loaded overdriven guitars, pulsating hypnotic bass, and razor sharp drumming expertly slink through moody shoegaze, new wave, and alternative rock influences similar to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Stylish, filled with memorable hooks, accessible, and yet exceptionally loaded with artistic integrity, Here In Filth, should help make a name for the young band that one can only hope will be around for many years to come.

BUY THE ALBUM.

4. Woolgather – Wind-Up Bird (from the album Programmes: Vol. I - The Pleasure Principle)

Austin, TX has become the ultimate breeding ground for incredible new rock bands, and Woolgather may just be one of the brightest. Their progressive song structures find room for inescapable melodic beauty, crushing layered heaviness, and stunning vocals and lyrics from the extraordinary Casey Tipton. Combining the complex with the gentle, Woolgather’s dark passion is driven by expansive guitar compositions infused with gorgeous pianos and skillfully shifting rhythms. Serene and haunting beauty is never far on their debut, Programmes: Vol I, an album that sits very comfortably alongside progressive art rock luminaries such as Dredg and Wintersleep.

BUY THE ALBUM.


5. Stomacher – Police (from the album Sentimental Education)

San Francisco’s Stomacher built up a strong and loyal following as In Reverent Fear before changing their name, and fine tuning their dark and elegant sound. Their “debut” under the new moniker, Sentimental Education, is the band’s undeniable masterpiece, a stunning collection of beautiful foggy atmosphere and delicate soaring melodies. Massive ocean-sized waves of reverb and delay wash over the guitars, mixing with passionate vocals that would make Thom Yorke jealous, for a simply jaw dropping sound that is equally rich in its artistry as pop sensibility. The big grooving rhythms guide the new wave/post-rock influenced quintet, as Stomacher has created a timeless record that demands repeat listens.

BUY THE ALBUM.


6. The Boxing Lesson – Muerta (from the album Wild Streaks & Windy Days)

Austin’s The Boxing Lesson without a doubt create some of the most epic space rock performed today. Calling back to the glory days of Pink Floyd, the band draw from a wealth of genres including space, progressive, art, indie, and ambient rock, all merged together by their infatuation with swirling moog synthesizers and experimental electronic layering. Since their debut full length, the band has become a duo, due to the unjust incarceration of their drummer Jake Mitchell, arrested for growing marijuana and charged under the Patriot Act as a terrorist. The Boxing Lesson push onwards, readying an EP and full length release for 2010 with the help of their manager, Ryan Cano (The Loyalty Firm), and the support of a rapidly growing fan-base. FREE JAKE MITCHELL.

BUY THE ALBUM.

7. Gift Horse – Missionaries (previously unreleased)

Since the very first note I ever heard Gift Horse play, I knew I was a fan for life. The Athens, Georgia quartet offers an unbelievable mix of 90’s indie rock, grunge, and shoegaze for a sound that honors its influences, but roars with originality. The band’s style can be equally attributed to a love for My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr., with wall of sound blasts of noise riding side by side with carefully constructed melodies and honest hazy vocals. With an exciting year that saw the band storming SXSW to wide-spread praise and touring with the Meat Puppets and Dead Confederate coming to an end, Gift Horse prepare for an even bigger 2010. Their debut album will be released in February, while preparing to head out on a full scale national tour shortly after.

8. Tangents – Fall Asleep Again (from the upcoming album One Little Light Year)

Lush and melodic, seductive and experimental, organic and alternative... Tangents is not what you may expect from a duo containing Derek Kerswill (Unearth/Seemless), but it’s the strengths of singer/guitarist Dave Witham (Flat 12/Of The Hour) that makes this project soar in the vein of Jeff Buckley, As Tall As Lions, or even Radiohead. Witham’s magnificent voice rises over the spiraling sonic backdrop with dazzling control and splendor. Ambitious songwriting creates the catchiest music either musician has released to date, and is sure to turn some heads when the album is released early next year.

9. Constants – Damien (from the album The Foundation/The Machine/The Ascension)

Arguably the best current post rock band in the world, Boston’s Constants offer a crushing rare breed of beauty that pulls its gorgeousness direct from its heaviness. The dense as bricks layering of their The Mylene Sheath debut may very well be one of the best releases of 2009, and for good reason. Constants pummel their songs with monstrous guitar textures that draw from space, prog, art, and especially post-rock. To call these three gents a “power” trio is a vicious understatement, as so much more than sheer power goes into their astonishingly united wall of sound. The time signatures are unique and intricate, the delay effect is vibrant, and most incredibly, the vocal melodies are striking and clear. Progressive post-rock at its absolute finest, Constants deliver equal parts brain and brawn.

BUY THE ALBUM.

10. Bloody Knives – Buried (from the EP Bloody Knives)

When Austin, Texas based shoegaze/grunge band The Joy Bus announced it was breaking up, many people, including myself, were deeply upset by the loss. The fellas didn’t let that last for too long however, as two thirds of the band reemerged as Bloody Knives, a new visceral shoegaze band with a propensity for all encompassing noise blasts and bleeding textures. Preston Maddox’s woozy vocals cut through the rusty storm of guitars, drums, keys, and programming to add contrasting melodic references that will draw you in over and over again. The duo creates a riotous amount of sound, with every nuance carefully placed in the sonic landscape.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE EP HERE.

11. Rishloo – Downhill (from the album Feathergun)

Seattle, Washington has been in need of a new hometown hero since the decay of the grunge era. If any band is ready to take the city’s musical throne, it’s the mighty, exceedingly creative, and triumphant prog rock champions, Rishloo. Since 2004 the band has been one of the country’s best kept secrets, developing a devout nationwide following while staying underground and true to their visionary music. Beloved for their refusal to compromise, Rishloo have self-released two widely acclaimed albums, and will be releasing the highly anticipated effort Feathergun on December 8th. Never content on repeating their previous work, they continue to push their progressive tendencies ever further with attention to shifting dynamics and rhythms, as well as captivating hypnotic melodies and vocal structures. Signed or unsigned, Rishloo are one of the greatest progressive bands in the country.

BUY THE ALBUM.

12. The Dirty Dishes – Stolen Apples (from the EP In The Clouds)

Buzzing with hype from the local Boston rock scene, The Dirty Dishes have great reason to be excited. Singer/guitarist Jenny Tuite and company play music that can be dreamily ambient one moment and jarringly spastic the next. Their combination of shoegaze, indie electro synth pop, and progressive rhythm structures creates lush whirring backdrops for Tuite’s beautifully slow dripping vocals. Their debut EP, produced by Tuite, Keith Freund of RIBS, and Mike Thomas of SuperVolcano captures the vocals perfectly in the mix, as the band achieves a stunning combination of shoegaze atmospheric gloom and post-punk fury with dreamy pop attitude.

BUY THE ALBUM.


13. Solar Powered People – Melting Ice & Snow (from the album Living Through the Low)

Modesto, California’s space rock collective Solar Powered People hail from the much celebrated school of Failure and Hum influenced bands, adding their own unique take on the subgenre. Strong attention to atmosphere compliments the ringing guitars, floating drifts of layered sound, and expansive walls of effects pedals. The band often pushes itself into a hailstorm of thick guitars, with a sharp rhythm section serving as the backbone; keeping everything in form. Firm yet simple vocals glide through the futuristic arrangements adding catchy sing-a-long melodies that hook into your subconscious and don’t let go.

BUY THE ALBUM.

14. Blind Dog Sky – I’m Comin’ Home (from the album Blind Dog Sky)

The eclectic side project from Satellite Tragedy frontman Ridd Sorenson, Blind Dog Sky takes just about every last thing that was good about the 90’s alternative rock radio and molds it into one genre defying album. What Sorenson may lack in promotional effort, he more than makes up for in his music, whether being influenced by swampy blues, lo-fi slacker grunge, or full blown space rock. Blind Dog Sky demonstrates a clear knowledge of pop music but remains honest and free of the cookie cutter corporate machine. Nothing more than a man with genuine rock songs to sing, Sorenson uses his alter ego as a showcase for his impeccable song writing prowess. Digital copies of the album are available for FREE download HERE!!

BUY THE ALBUM.


15. Blood Warrior – Blood Letting (previously unreleased)

Don’t let the name fool you, Blood Warrior are not a heavy metal band, they’re actually not heavy at all. Spearheaded by Greg Jamie of gothic folk visionaries O’Death, New York’s Blood Warrior draw from the same roots, but with a decidedly more relaxed and psychedelic approach to their music. Old time folk music of the dustbowl era combines with gospel and Americana to create gorgeously dark vocal harmonies, rich acoustic textures, and simple staggering rhythms. The band has been gaining widespread acclaim for their live shows, including a much hyped performance at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon. Blood Warrior recently released a limited edition 7”, and will follow up with their debut record on Ernest Jennings Record Co. in 2010.

BUY THE 7”.

16. Waxhouse – Ration (previously unreleased)

Hailing from London, Waxhouse are an exceptional new alternative progressive band that should create a big impact in the scene. The band may be young in age, but don’t let that throw you off, their sound is rather mature and tastefully complex. Intricate rhythms coincide with angular guitar flourishes that derive from the same school of thought as Oceansize and Biffy Clyro. Fantastic vocals are what truly set the band apart, and together with their peers in Arcane Roots (another Exploding In Sound favorite), Waxhouse are in no short order for musical talent, ensuring an incredible future lies ahead for the UK quintet. The band will be releasing their debut EP early 2010.

17. Monument To No One – Planetary (from the album Monument To No One)

I’m not sure what it is about Austin, Texas that screams “space rock,” but Monument To No One are the latest band from the prestigious city to burst out on the scene. On their self titled debut, the quartet show their penchant for endlessly walloping guitar feedback and distortion, sharp precision snare work, and hypnotic warping grooves. The guitars shimmer off each other through lengthy compositions, proving Monument To No One’s flair for mind expanding psychedelic exploration that sets them apart from the pack. Their music is raw and corrosive, with treacherous riffs and battering drum fills that drift into another dimension.

BUY THE ALBUM.

18. Emptyself – Just Go On (previously unreleased)

Emptyself is the solo project from the elusive Cire frontman/mastermind Eric Johanson. Originally creating music from his native New Orleans, Johanson relocated after Hurricane Katrina took all he knew to Auckland, New Zealand. His music is incredibly personal and heartfelt, even with much digital manipulation there is still a driving human emotion always present. His voice is powerful and stunning, often reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan, without merely being a cheap imitation. Haunting and steeped in bleakness, Emptyself creates electronic sonic landscapes for his vital and potent vocals to sprawl over undisturbed.

BUY THE ALBUM.

19. Irepress – Adeluge (from the album Sol Eye Sea I)

The epic nature of Boston’s Irepress can best be described as monolithic. The band craft wildly shifting (primarily) instrumental progressive post-rock that delves through multiple genres within single songs, but always remains focused on their unwavering talent and attention to detail. Time signatures are maligned and contorted with their snarling contusion of hardcore, metal, and avant-garde jazz exploration. Sprawling works of art circle around thematic tension and release, consistently building while fluctuating tempos and reverberating guitars pour continuously forward. Irepress have built a solid foundation over the years, and prove to be one of Boston’s hardest working and most intelligent rock bands, looking forward to 2010 with new guitarist Ben Gram (Eroica) joining the ranks and new music in the works.

BUY THE ALBUM.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Band Alert: Black Light White Light


Black Light White Light is an excellent shoegaze/dream pop/alternative band hailing from Copehagen, Denmark. Formerly known as The Leo Johnson Experiment, the band has reformed and look to make a name for themselves with their upcoming debut EP Directors Cut coming out on December 14th at all digital retailers. The band will be relaunching their Myspace page early next week, and offering their EP for a limited time FREE download, so make sure to check that out while you can!!

Here's what the band had to say...

"Directors Cut EP" was recorded during a cold and dark weekend up north in Gothenburg, Sweden. You'd follow some hills then cross a small river to the site of some restored storage buildings. Here you'd find the beautiful Svenska Grammofon Studion.

Some friends joined in. We recorded, drank black coffee and fine wine and ate nice Italian food. Johan Forsman recorded and mixed.

This is Black Light White Light's debut. Directors Cut - EP is out digitally worldwide on all good retailers 14th December 2009 and will also be released on a very limited 7" white-colored vinyl on our own label Record Records. Black Light White Light's prescription: Play it LOUD."

FOR FANS OF: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Angels

As Tall As Lions Release UK EP / Tour Dates


As Tall As Lions have announced a brand new UK release: Circles 7" EP is now available for pre-order (mp3 downloads included)...

Pre-order HERE!!

Tracklisting:

1. Circles
2. You Can't Take It With You
3. Ghosts of York
4. I Could Die Here

UK DATES with Frightened Rabbit

Dec 1 2009 8:00P Moshulu Aberdeen, Scotland
Dec 2 2009 8:00P Fat Sams Dundee, Scotland

UK DATES with Athlete

Dec 4 2009 7:00P Anson Rooms Bristol
Dec 5 2009 7:00P ABC Glasgow
Dec 6 2009 7:00P Ritz Manchester
Dec 8 2009 7:00P Shepherds Bush London
Dec 9 2009 7:00P Shepherds Bush London *2nd show
Dec 10 2009 7:00P Wulfun Hall Wolverhampton

HEADLINING UK Dates

Dec 11 2009 8:00P Barfly London *Almost Sold Out Purchase Tickets

Mr. Gnome Featured in Tuscon, AZ


AZ Night Buzz, Tuscon's Music Guide, has featured an article about Mr. Gnome, calling them the "Next Big Thing"...

[aznightbuzz.com] If you thought a band with a name like Mr. Gnome was going to be cutesy or jokey, think again. The Cleveland duo embrace the word that is most often thrown their way – “schizophrenic,” crediting the label to the natural evolution of their sound and their unique male/female dynamic. It’s a word with a typically negative connotation that Mr. Gnome has accepted naturally and made their own.

“We never set out to sound a certain way and that’s probably why our music tends to be so schizophrenic,” singer/guitarist Nicole Barille said.

The delirious nature of their music comes from the way they contrast sounds and embrace dark and chaotic noise as well as more melodic musical moments. Barille combines soft, pretty vocals with guttural screams that sound a bit like what Subbacultcha described in a 2007 review as “Cat Power in a fistfight with Bjork.” But Blonde Redhead in a dreamy scuffle with My Bloody Valentine works, too. The style matches Barille’s quiet-then-explosive guitar playing, which is well buoyed by Sam Meister’s machine-gun percussion.

There’s also a sense of fearlessness in their music, which is carried through to Barille’s pre-show vocal prep ritual.

“My usual vocal warm-up is chugging a beer or taking a shot of whiskey,” she said.

The video to “Night of the Crickets” off the band’s 2008 debut album Deliver this Creature, is a fitting visual and auditory Mr. Gnome introduction.



This isn’t the band’s first trip to Tucson, where they have several ties and friends, including their booking agent, Kris Kerry of Lost Barrio Artists. And each time they have hit Plush’s stage, they have managed to grab more attention than just making friends with the locals.

If you are a regular AZNightBuzz reader, you have seen Mr. Gnome’s name before. Besides the aforementioned brief review, they have also been interviewed by Confirmation Hearings (click HERE for the full interview) prior to their show at Plush last June. But it turns out we aren’t the only one that thinks that Mr. Gnome’s odd name bears repeating.

Mr. Gnome is enjoying a healthy buzz in the blogosphere and has received its share of adulation from the likes of Rolling Stone, Spin and Bust magazines as well as indie tastemaker site Pitchfork Media. Their second full-length album, Heave Yer Skeleton (out this month on El Marko Records), is the result of an invitation to record at Pink Duck Studios in Los Angeles by Queens of the Stone Age engineer Justin Smith. The studio also just happens to be owned by Josh Homme, Queen of the Stone Age’s front man.

“We got invited to Pink Duck by Josh’s studio manager, Justin Smith. Just a regular ol’ phone call,” Barille said. “We wrote all the songs back in Cleveland and sent the demos over to Justin just so he could have a good idea of what this beast would sound like and maybe recording techniques he might want to try with us.”

Skeleton
was also mixed at Butch Vig’s (well-known producer and the guitarist for the band Garbage) Smart Studios by Beau Sorenson (who has also worked with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Sparklehorse and Tegan and Sara).

So the moral of the story is, if it takes a band being backed by big names to get your interest, then you should be putting this show on your agenda right about… now.

SXSW 2010 Line-Up Takes Shape


The first batch of bands/artists playing this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas have been announced. Those of interest here at Exploding In Sound include...

* Karnivool
* A Shoreline Dream
* The 88
* Fighting With Wire
* Japandroids
* Mariachi El Bronx

With many more to come! Check out the entire line-up so far HERE.

Omar Rodriguez Lopez to Release "Solar Gambling" in December


Omar Rodriguez Lopez has another album Solar Gambling coming out this year, with Ximena Sarinana on vocals. That's right he likes to make albums and this one is another stunner. Check out the track "Un Buitre Amable Me Pico" from Solar Gambling out on 12/28/09 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions.

<a href="http://omardigital.rodriguezlopezproductions.com/album/solar-gambling-2">Locomocion Capilar by Omar Rodriguez Lopez</a>

You can stream and download the entire album online at http://omardigital.rodriguezlopezproductions.com/ Vinyl Pre-Order is now up only 1500 printed (750) in Clear Light Blue and (750) In Clear Light Yellow - Reserve your copy quick! Also available the T-Shirt Vinyl Bundle for only $30

In other Omar Rodriguez Lopez news...

LA Weekly's "Inches" column has featured the vinyl release of Xenophanes...

Artist: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Title: Xenophanes
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions (Echo Park)
Format: LP (+ download), pink vinyl, 2000 pressed

You may think you know what an Omar Rodriguez Lopez record is all about -- that you've got it down to a science. Perhaps you've backed the Mars Volta ax-man's genre odysseys into a tight corner that's overshadowed by virtuosic guitar-play and odd time signatures. Perhaps you've written him off. This is, of course, the part where we tell you how terribly wrong you are. With due respect to Rodriguez Lopez's righteous back catalog, Xenophanes is a "real album." Instrumental prowess still abounds, but the man sings here for the first time -- in Spanish -- and he does it quite well. His main squeeze, Mexican pop star Ximena Sariñana, backs his atmospheric crooning, helping him unravel a complex story about a heartbroken women who discovers divine love over the course of 11 lifetimes. The bombast and heavy psychedelia is still there of course, but there are quiet moments too, and an overarching melodic awareness that keeps even the most ambitious flights within reach of those of us still here on Earth. - Chris Martins

Oceansize Postpone UK Tour


[theprp.com] Oceansize have postponed their touring plans as a result of their drummer Mark Heron suffering from a recurring infection which the band assume to either be “Staph A or Celulitis”. They had the following statement to say on the matter:

“Ladies and Gents,

It’s with dismal regret and snotted beak we must announce the postponement of our entire tour. It’s been touch and go for a few days with our drummer, Mark, who’s back in the hospital being treated for something jolly nasty.

Mark is very ill and has been admitted to hospital indefinitely, we thought it best to postpone the dates until the New Year as it’s unlikely he will be well enough in time and as I’m sure you all understand it’s vital he makes a full recovery. We will have a full re-scheduled tour early next week.

All tickets will from the original dates will be valid. Refunds will be available from the point of purchase. We hope you can all make these new shows – the European dates were awesome and we’ve got some tasty new tunes for you to get your gums ’round.

We apologize to anyone who’s lost money on pre-booked hotels/trains etc. We’ll endeavor to make it up to you on the new dates.

Tonight, instead of tearing Nottingham a new arse, I’m gonna sit in and sing John Lee Hooker numbers to the cat.

With respect,
Oceansize”

Friday, November 27, 2009

The 88 Cover Dylan

The 88 performing Bob Dylan's, "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry" featuring Matt Costa on harmonica. Live at Club Congress in Tucson, Arizona on April 27, 2009.

Far Release "Pony" 7" Overseas


[theprp.com] Far will be releasing a limited edition 7″ picture disc overseas on November 30th for their cover of Ginuwine’s “Pony“. The b-side of the release will feature an acoustic version of the title track which was performed at San Francisco, CA’s “Live 105“. More details, including audio samples, can be found HERE.

Far are expected to release their new album early next year through Vagrant.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

LIONS Ready New EP / Offer FREE Download


LIONS new EP "Let No One Fall" will be released Nov 30th in the UK on Maybe Records. You can purchase physical copies worldwide through Amazon UK... Since there is no US release date slated as of yet, LIONS are going to be giving the record away for FREE on Nov 30th to all the mailing list US peeps...

There will be a digital download page on Nov 30 at www.lionstheband.net... All free, no catch. Because LIONS rule.

Track Listing :

1. Gimme Riot
2. Blow Away
3. Poster Child
4. In Your Head
5. Screaming Out
6. Big Bad

Old Canes Tour Dates / Press Release


[Saddle Creek Records] Old Canes released their Saddle Creek debut, Feral Harmonic CD/LP/Digital, on October 20. The CD and LP features deluxe, limited
edition packaging assembled right here in Omaha (check out a video of the
assembly HERE). Head over to
the online store to pick up a copy, where you can also get two free tracks from the record.

Touring for Feral Harmonic continues tonight in Albuquerque, NM and continues through the end of the month. Check out the remaining dates below!

What people are saying about Feral Harmonic:

It’s a mystery how Old Canes have somehow eluded indie/folk fame for the five years they have been around. At first exposure, the band...will leave you wondering how you have not encountered it before. - Magnet

I poured over Feral Harmonic. Invested time, read lyrics. And it poured over me—the melodies cocooned in the softest parts of my brain. It was, at one point, almost difficult for me not to listen to the album. - My Old Kentucky Blog

…an album with one foot planted in the ‘90s emo subculture where Crisci cut his teeth and another in the idiosyncratic folk world pioneered by artists like Neutral Milk Hotel. ‘The Last Collapse’ adeptly proves those two worlds don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 4 stars. -- Alternative Press

Crisci and Canes make you want to run around and cause a mess, jump up and down, simply live, or at least go outside and see the sky. - Baeble Music

ORDER HERE!

Old Canes - Fall 2009:

Wed-Nov-25, Albuquerque, NM, Launch Pad
Fri-Nov-27, Denton, TX, Hailey's
Sat-Nov-28, Austin, TX, Emo's
Sun-Nov-29, Oklahoma City, OK, The Conservatory
Mon-Nov-30, Wichita, KS, The Anchor

The Whigs Featured in Rolling Stone


[RollingStone.com] When Athens, Georgia garage rockers the Whigs were preparing to hit the studio for their third album, In the Dark, (out March 2nd), their label sent over a highly recommended producer who just happened to be an old pal from their earliest shows. “They were like, ‘Hey, this guy Ben Allen, he’s worked on that first Gnarls Barkley record and did Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion,’ ” Whigs’ singer-guitarist Parker Gispert tells Rolling Stone. ” I was like, ‘Yeah, I talked to him last week.’ ”

Allen wasn’t the only new addition to the band’s arsenal in the studio. In the Dark marks the Whigs’ first album with new bassist Tim Deaux, who had an immediate impact on the songwriting process. “When we first started putting the record together, I was talking a lot about [the Rolling Stones'] Beggars Banquet. I don’t think the record sounds anything like Beggars Banquet, but the whole time we were really just open to doing things that we hadn’t done before,” Gispert says. “Ben had just done Animal Collective record, so we knew that Ben was capable of doing things that aren’t normally on our rock records, so we just kind of opened ourselves up to anything we were listening to.”

Gispert also found himself opening up lyrically, as years on the road had taken a toll on many of his personal relationships, and he began connecting with the straight-forward, layered lyricism of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and other country greats. “The whole country thing, for me, was just about lyrics, and trying to be a little more direct,” Gispert says. “Being a child of the ’90s, with the Becks and Steve Malkmuses, the more word collage-y lyricists were my inspiration for a long time. I’d never listened to country, and I was just falling in love with how direct someone like Johnny Cash is.”

That different approach is apparent in songs like “In the Dark,” which find Gispert drawing comparisons between a blackout and a communication breakdown. “I wrote that lyric when we didn’t have power in our house, and I was literally sitting in the dark,” Rispert says. Inspired by his newfound love of country and their tourmates the Kings of Leon, the Whigs traveled up to Nashville following their sessions with Allen to record with Kings producer Angelo Petraglia and Jay Joyce, who worked on the Cage the Elephant disc. What came out of those sessions were a handful of reworked songs, including the anthemic “Kill Me, Carolynne.”

Two songs off In the Dark, the title track and “Hundred/Million,” are both available as free downloads on the Whigs’ official site. The group is in the midst of their own headlining tour, where they’re showcasing In the Dark tracks on a nightly basis. Check out the remaining dates below:

The Whigs

Dec. 1 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
Dec. 2 – Dallas, TX @ The Loft
Dec. 4 – Atlanta, GA @ The Variety Playhouse
Dec. 5 – Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm & Brews
Dec. 8 – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite
Dec. 10 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Dec. 11 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Dec. 12 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star
Dec. 14 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Dec. 15 – Charleston, SC @ Pour House

Deftones Recap Chi Cheng Benefit Shows


[theprp.com] The Deftones have posted a recap of their recent benefit shows for their bassist Chi Cheng that took place in Hollywood, CA this past weekend. You can find that, complete with annotated set lists, pictures and more, HERE.

As previously reported, the shows saw the band pull out all the stops, playing a number of rare songs live and teaming up with numerous members of their friends for one-time collaborative performances. The concerts took place to raise money for the mounting medical costs incurred by Deftones bassist Chi Cheng’s car accident in November of 2008.

Those interested in helping out with Chi Cheng’s ongoing recovery can find more information at www.oneloveforchi.com. Furthermore, an auction featuring a number of unique items and experiences to benefit Cheng is also underway HERE. The Deftones will release their new album in February.

Zach Hill... Man or Machine?

Sargent House Records have posted a video of drummer extraordinaire Zach Hill (Hella/Bygones/Team Sleep) entitled "12 Minutes of Sheer BLAST!".

Zach Hill "on blast" 2 from TERROREYES.TV on Vimeo.

Alice In Chains Acoustic Videos

[theprp.com] Alice In Chains recently performed three songs acoustically for Yahoo Music. You can watch the footage below:





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pixies Perform Twice on Fallon (Video)

[stereogum.com] A couple of weeks ago the Pixies brought "Here Comes Your Man" to Conan. Last night Doolittle's seminal opening track, was of the band's own choosing. Then, for a web-only exclusive, Jimmy "Fresh Prince Neil Young" Fallon's viewers Tweeted their votes for a second Doolittle tune. There are obviously so many gems to choose from, and it went to "Hey." Yesterday the band also finally unboxed the massive $500 Minotaur Deluxe Box Set.



Failure Tribute Anniversary Package Offer

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Nurse Who Loved Me: A Tribute to Failure, and to celebrate Pop-Up Records are releasing a very special CD set that is too good to be true. With the tribute album that introduced the world to so many great bands, if you buy this special deal, the tribute album comes with records from Exeter, (Damn) This Desert Air, Satellite Tragedy, Orion, and many more. Check out the details below (click on the picture for a larger view)...



Order this amazing offer HERE!! This deal would be worth it for just two of these releases, yet you get over 10 great albums.

Memoria Honors the Alternative 90s: A Tribute Well Deserved


If you read this site, even on rare occasion, one thing should be certain… I love the early 90s alternative/grunge rock era. The music I grew up listening to has developed my tastes since I was old enough to have an opinion, as well as influenced most of my favorite music from this current decade. The impact can still be felt from the fading (but never forgotten) scene as proven by the recent compilation from Yr Letter Records entitled “Memoria: A Tribute to the Alternative 90s.” Yr Letter Records is a small independent record label based out of France, best known for releasing Jonah Matranga’s (Far) solo record “And” as well as several emerging underground bands. As is the situation with nearly all tribute albums, most of the artists are completely unknown, thirteen of the seventeen bands hail from the label’s own home of France. The compilation won’t be entirely foreign to ears in the US however, as the disc features contributions from the aforementioned Matranga, as well as Walter Schriefels (Quicksand/Rival Schools) and Frank Turner. Just as the contributors have a varying degree of fame, so do the bands being covered. They range from the super famous (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, Deftones) to the cult followings (My Bloody Valentine, Far, Quicksand, Jawbox) to the fairly obscure (Babes in Toyland, Kerbdog, Les Thugs, Grant Lee Buffalo, The Poises, Mega City Four, Chokebore). With such a diverse range of artists being honored the album not only introduces you to new bands, but also bands you may have missed from the 90s. While choosing to cover the classics leaves little room for improvement on the originals, many of them are great reinterpretations, and make for an enjoyable listen. Then there are the tracks I haven’t heard in the first place, which for the most part sound great in their cover versions, piquing my interest for both the artist being honored as well as the one paying the tribute.

Frank Turner opens the show with his furious acoustic cover of Kerbdog’s “Sally”. The Irish grunge band’s biggest hit gains new life on Turner’s passionate rendition. Removing the clunky power chords in place of swirling acoustic patterns, the exceptional song writing is showcased. La Rochelle, France’s Gatechien offer their reimagining of “Bombtrack” by Rage Against The Machine, giving the song a distinct new flavor while remaining within the same funk groove originally laid down by Tom Morello and company. The punchy French accent and attitude pulsing through the vocals adds a great texture to a familiar tune, contributing a renewed sense of immediacy and pounding energy. Walter Schriefels attempts the near impossible, providing an acoustic cover of My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze storm “When You Sleep”. Schriefels has garnered a cult following from his sincere and honest vocal melodies and simplicity, and he proves his formula works despite most odds. The thick hazy wall of sound surging through MBV’s guitars is replaced with layered clean acoustics while maintaining the original’s vibe on an infinitely more lo-fi scale.

DevonMiles hail from Orleans, France and continue to display the promising underground music coming from their national scene on their cover of Weezer’s “Getchoo”. The classic Pinkerton song is given a straight forward interpretation with subtle effect pedal changes and varied melodic embellishments that add to the already great song. Holland’s Cooper submits their version of Jawbox’s “Static” leaning very closely to the original with their boisterous homage. Lula Fortune, another talented French band, covers Grant Lee Buffalo’s “Fuzzy,” a song I have never heard from a band I’d never listened to. Without any previous knowledge, Lula Fortune are able to gather my interest with their brand of mid-tempo reverb soaked guitars and gorgeous high soaring vocals reminiscent of As Tall As Lions or modern day Silverchair. Down to Earth attempt their shot at one of my all time favorite songs, Soundgarden’s “Let Me Drown,” with sub-par results. While the young French band certainly doesn’t butcher the song, they also don’t improve it in any way, with a lead singer that comes very short trying to fill in Chris Cornell’s enormous shoes. Much of the greatness in the original lies in Cornell and lead guitarist Kim Thayil’s unbelievable talent, something that can’t be replaced regardless of enthusiasm. Billy Gaz Station’s version of The Posies “Grant Hart,” is an enjoyable listen with a rapid grungy pop energy that bounces with the melody.

Luis Francisco Arena offers a bubbling atmospheric reworking of Far’s stand out “I Like It” from the phenomenal Water and Solutions. Just as with Soundgarden, the original Far song is one of my favorites, with a cover that can’t simply match the magic and chemistry of the authentic version. Lead Orphans triumphantly pound out a visceral interpretation of Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy” with angst and grace. Imagine the song nearly unchanged, yet with a slightly more restrained vocal, and this song may just actually be improved. You can’t tribute the “Alternative 90s” without one brave band attempting a Nirvana song, in this case coming from Novels’ gravel voiced version of “Aneurysm”. The song can’t hold a candle to the raw angst of the original, but you have to get them credit for trying. The passion for the song and effort to do it justice are certainly there, and no one should be particularly turned off from their contribution.

Closing the album is the stunning masterpiece of the record that created my interest in the first place, Jonah Matranga’s intimate take on his good friends, the Deftones’ “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”. Accompanied only by drum machine, atmospherics, and faint guitar strums, Matranga embodies the mood and warm soul of the song in a rendition closer to Team Sleep than the Deftones, but every bit as effective with its vulnerable exterior. The album isn’t without its low points however, including Dead Pop Club’s cover of Les Thugs, Powell featuring Cyesm’s aggression-less take on Quicksand’s “Head to Wall,” Atomic Garden paying tribute to Mega City Four, Mr. Moustache screaming into Babes in Toyland, and Run Ronnie Run’s homage to Chokebore.

Yr Letter Records has released an interesting compilation well worth a listen, if not just for the fun of hearing a slew of promising French acts pay tribute to the band’s who have influenced our generation’s masses. An album teaser is available to stream HERE (with many of the full songs on the bands' individual Myspace pages) and for purchase HERE!

The Brothers Movement Reviewed by Daily Music Guide


Daily Music Guide have reviewed the self titled debut album from Ireland's The Brothers Movement...

[dailymusicguide.com] Like buses, good indie albums seem to arrive all at once. Enter The Brothers Movement, hailing from Dublin and formed from the ashes of Mainline. They have been steadily building a reputation for themselves in their native Ireland and abroad supporting the likes of MC5 and Sonic Youth and their eponymous debut sees TBM step up to the big time, pushing on from the obvious potential of earlier releases to deliver a well-produced, swirlingly psychedelic rock album brimming with attitude.

TBM sound like they are the result of some illicit love affair between Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Verve and Spiritualized, who for some weird reason happened to be born in Dublin. They set their stall out quickly in rumbustious fashion with 'Blind' and 'Standing Still'. Straight away the listener has to sit up and pay attention to the mixture of gritty riffs, beautiful melodies and blustering slightly unearthly vocals. True to form, things take a psychedelic turn with 'Sister' and 'Someday', allowing hazy effects and meandering guitars and slightly melancholy tendencies to take to the fore.

The album is off like an unstoppable train with 'Salute' driven by a furious and relentless drumbeat and raspy vocals. 'Coming Home' on the other hand is a sweet melodic jaunt in comparison but equally brilliant both like meeting an old friend that you have not yet met. Mellow is on the menu in the closing stages of the album, with the slightly melancholy but hugely epic 'War And Peace' and the slightly spacey 'Is God Dead'. The album finishes in emphatic fashion with the stirring and broody psychedelic number 'When We Leave', sounding somewhere between The Stands and The Verve; this is followed by the rather alluring and angelic 'We Shall Lift Our Heads', closing proceedings on a high note.

TBM have delivered a very good album which was well worth waiting for. While there is little of no sign of them reinventing the wheel, they have successfully created a record that sounds both original and deeply familiar, making it very easy for the listener to enjoy. There are bags of potential in this record. Hopefully they can fulfil it and won't have to wait so long for the next album.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Depreciation Guild FREE MP3 Download


[NME.com] The Depreciation Guild, who are masters of dreamy fuzz-coated melodies in the same vein as Trailer Trash Tracys (who you can hear HERE and download a track from HERE) or even Teengirl Fantasy (download HERE).

They're a Brooklyn three-piece and they play White Heat tonight with TTT, before heading out on tour in support of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart...

For Fans Of: My Bloody Valentine / Autolux / Catherine Wheel

DOWNLOAD The Depreciation Guild's "Dream About Me" HERE!! (right click, save as)

The Willowz Corrected Tour Dates

The Willowz have made some corrections to their upcoming tour dates, with Boston now the 18th NOT the 14th...

December 11th Columbus .Cafe Bourbon Street
December 12th Indianapolis Radio Radio
December 13th Chicago Empty Bottle
December 15th Toronto Lees’ Place
December 17th Philadelphia M Room
December 18 Cambridge The Middle East
December 19th Providence Jerky’s Live Music Hall
December 20th New York Mercury Lounge

Willowz - Repitition - Live in New York from Dim Mak on Vimeo.

Appleseed Cast / Dreamend Tour Dates


[punknews.org] Appleseed Cast has signed to Graveface and have announced a 26-date tour in which they will perform their two Low Level Owl albums in their entirety. The band will have a new live album available for sale on this tour, their first for the imprint Graveface.

Label mates Dreamend round out the bill, opening all of the shows on this tour. Dreamend features Ryan Graveface, the owner of the Graveface label and member of Black Moth Super Rainbow. Dreamend's latest album Long Forgotten Friend is out now on Graveface. Both The Appleseed Cast and Dreamend will have new full-length releases out via Graveface in late 2010.

February 24, 2010 Norman, OK Opolis
February 25, 2010 Denton, TX Lola's
February 26, 2010 Houston, TX Rudyards
February 27, 2010 Austin, TX Mohawk
March 1, 2010 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room
March 2, 2010 Tucson, AZ Plush
March 3, 2010 San Diego, CA Casbah
March 4, 2010 Pomona, CA Glasshouse
March 5, 2010 Los Angeles, CA Echo Plex
March 6, 2010 San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill
March 8, 2010 Portland, OR Berbati's
March 9, 2010 Vancouver, BC Biltmore
March 10, 2010 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
March 11, 2010 Spokane, WA Empyrean Cafe
March 12, 2010 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
March 13, 2010 Denver, CO Hi Dive
March 15, 2010 Omaha, NE Waiting Room
March 16, 2010 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
March 17, 2010 Dekalb, IL House Cafe
March 18, 2010 Madison, WI High Noon
March 19, 2010 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
March 20, 2010 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway
March 21, 2010 Kansas City, MO Record Bar

Dave Grohl discusses Nirvana "Live at Reading" Concert


[NME.com] Dave Grohl has said he was convinced that Nirvana's headline appearance at Reading Festival in 1992 would end their career.

The performance, footage of which was released on DVD and CD on November 2, saw frontman Kurt Cobain enter the stage in a wheelchair, a reference to his recent stays in rehab to beat his drug addiction.

"Kurt had been in and out of rehab, communication in the band was beginning to be strained," Grohl told The Scotsman. Kurt was living in LA, Krist [Novoselic] and I were in Seattle. People weren't even sure if we were going to show up."

Grohl added that even he wasn't confident that the band would be able to pull the gig off.

"We rehearsed [for Reading] once, the night before, and it wasn't good," he said. "I really thought, 'This will be a disaster, this will be the end of our career for sure.' And then it turned out to be a wonderful show, and it healed us for a little while."

Speaking of Nirvana's reputation since Cobain's suicide in 1994, Grohl said he believes the band are misleadingly thought of as gloomy.

"It's easy to imagine that we were followed by a black cloud," he explained. "But it wasn't all misery and doom. People know the biography, but it's a little more complicated than that."

The Builders & The Butchers Review on Filter-Mag


Filter-Mag.com has reviewed the most recent release from The Builders and The Butchers Salvation is a Deep Dark Well released on Gigantic Records, giving it a Filter grade of 84%...

By the time Ryan Sollee’s trailing vibrato claims “there’s mud on my elbows and knees” on The Builders and the Butchers’ sophomore release, it was already assumed that he and his bandmates could use a wash out back. In the footsteps of Cormac McCarthy on a leash, Salvation is a Deep Dark Well unfolds as a collection of Southern Gothic narratives whose tales of death, red skies, god and his other half are caked with the dusty blood of too many sunrises. In The Builders and the Butchers’ world where “everything heals given time/everything dies given time/the scars run together,” a blooming balance of dark nu-folk instrumental layers weave with Americana-rooted romps. In “Short Way Home,” you can see spinning tires outrunning the hooves of the law, and take a trip to the early 20th century with the call-and-response gospel-blues of “The World is a Top”’s pre-war howl. If the test for American roots music still lies in your foot’s inability to stand still, these guys have got it down in an equal balance of unusual ways.

Monster Magnet Sign to Napalm Records


[bravewords.com] Napalm Records has announced that North American rockers MONSTER MAGNET has joined their ranks.

The legendary New Jersey outfit, who have released a string of cult classics since the early nineties, signed a worldwide record deal with the Austrian label and are currently working on new songs, which will shake the foundations of the rock scene.

Frontman Dave Wyndorf: “I'm really looking forward to joining the roster at Napalm Records and working with them on future endeavors. Our plan is to record our next studio album with Matt Hyde starting in January, for a release early this summer. And with a new album comes a new run or two of live shows! Stay tuned - we're comin' to your town!”

Markus Riedler, Napalm Records Managing Director: ”It is an honor to cooperate with a scene icon such as Dave Wyndorf! He’s very enthusiastic, full of energy and together, we want to rock through the coming years! The new album will be killer and fans should make sure to check out the high-energy live show of the band! 2010 will be the year of Monster Magnet!"

Dinosaur Jr. Tour / Kids Song About Bananas (Video)


[pitchfork.com] The folks behind the ADD Nickelodeon kids' show "Yo Gabba Gabba" are doing God's work: Bringing hipster music to children and making aging indie parents feel cool again. "Yo Gabba Gabba" has featured music from the likes of MGMT, Of Montreal, Les Savy Fav and Weezer (in bug costumes!), and the show is now on the road, bringing flashy entertainment to toddlers across the country.

This past weekend, the "Yo Gabba Gabba" live show came to New York's Beacon Theatre. As Brooklyn Vegan reports, the show included special guests Devendra Banhart, the Roots, and Dinosaur Jr. Dinosaur Jr. played "Banana", a song previously done on the show by the L.A. ska ensemble the Aggrolites, of all people. And yes, it is all about bananas and how good they are. It must be hard avoiding the obvious jokes when you're in a room full of little kids.

As you can see in the camera-phoned video below, Dino's version is decidedly more restrained, even if it does feature some of J. Mascis' trademark guitar pyrotechnics. The video is worth watching if only for the way Mascis says "Hi, kids" at the beginning. The first YouTube comment says it best: "Mommy, why are the scary homeless men on stage?"



In other Dinosaur Jr. news...

[punknews.org] Dinosaur Jr. have begun announcing 2010 dates. The band will play a block of East Coast Canadian and US dates in January followed by a run through Spain in February and a trip to Australia in March. They released Farm in 2009.

January 16, 2010 Bowery Ballroom New York, New York
January 17, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York
January 19, 2010 Castaways Ithaca, New York
January 20, 2010 The Ale House Kingston, Ontario
January 21, 2010 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, Ontario
January 22, 2010 Capital Music Hall Ottawa, Ontario
January 23, 2010 Club Soda Montreal, Quebec
February 10, 2010 Sala Heineken Madrid, Spain
February 11, 2010 Sala Apolo Barcelona, Spain
February 12, 2010 Sala Assig Palma (Mallorca) , Spain
March 4, 2010 Corner Hotel Melbourne, Australia
March 6, 2010 Golden Plains Festival Meredith, Australia
March 7, 2010 Lost Weekend Festival Brisbane, Australia
March 10, 2010 Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay, Australia
March 11, 2010 Metro Theatre Sydney, Australia
March 12, 2010 Rosemount Hotel Perth, Australia
March 13, 2010 Fowlers Live Adelaide, Australia
March 14, 2010 Moorilla Hobart, Australia

Jawbox Reissue Review on Pitchfork


Pitchfork.com has reviewed Jawbox's For Your Own Special Sweetheart Reissue, giving the record an impressive 9.3 out of 10 and bestowing the album with the "best new reissue" tag...

[pitchfork.com] The eight-year career of Jawbox could be written as a cautionary tale: indie band signs to a big label, makes two great records that eventually fall out of print, and breaks up. But listening to Jawbox's freshly reissued 1994 major-label debut, For Your Own Special Sweetheart, it's difficult to conclude they made the wrong decision by recording this album for Atlantic. The obvious reason is cold, hard cash: Sweetheart might sound unassumingly direct, but it takes a lot of time and money to make a record this precise and balanced. The other reason is more nebulous, but no less relevant: You don't jump ship from a dogmatically anti-major label like Dischord to a behemoth like Atlantic without understanding that the next thing you do had better be really, really good. While a more naïve band might have diluted its sound to seek fame and fortune, Jawbox cashed in the chips on their shoulders and made their most uncompromising and ferocious record.

Sweetheart's return to Dischord reintroduces the album as a win-win prospect: a record with a mid-90s alt-rock budget, but none of that era's corny or diminishing relics. Bob Weston's thoughtful remaster retains the dynamic range of the original while breathing new life into its low end; Zach Barocas' kick drum finally feels like a punch in the chest. The essential B-sides from the Savory EP are included as well. Even the cover art has been revised, the dated sepia toned blow-up doll image of the original replaced by a solidly cast marble figure rendered in high-contrast grayscale.

The new cover is apt; FYOSS is downright sculptural in its attention to form and structure. The brilliance of FYOSS lies not in any one melody, guitar line, or drum fill but rather in the interaction between these elements. Every song is a thoughtfully interrelated system, an organic economy of sound, rhythm, and gesture. At times, once-distant guitar parts come together with such effortless strength that you can visualize guitarists J. Robbins and Bill Barbot bending the necks of their instruments in unison. Ted Nicely's impeccable production lends a subtle sheen to the album's pop sensibility but never dulls its harsh edges, revealing a band that is well-versed in both harmony and discord (no pun intended).

At its best, FYOSS compresses the energy of hardcore into something more nuanced and deliberate. "Savory" is a masterfully constructed study in tension and release, as Robbins' simple vocal melody is made infinitely more potent by layers of dissonant guitar chords, sparse bass, and violent, propulsive drumming. Even the song's angelic chorus seems subtly unresolved and menacing, though Robbins' and Barbot's guitars chime rather than stab. The guitar "solo" consists of little more than occasional muted feedback bursts, instead serving to emphasize the monolithic force of the band's rhythm section in the absence of Robbins' vocals. The J.G. Ballard-inspired "Motorist" narrates a car crash as metallic guitars jut out from a spare, skeletal frame. "Cruel Swing" sounds exactly like you'd think, Barocas absolutely pummeling his kit over a walking bass figure that sounds like it's challenging you to a fight. Album closer "Whitney Walks" contorts the limitations of Robbins' vocal range into a uniquely seething, uneasy kind of melancholy that perfectly prefigures the song's explosive finale.

The highlight of this reissue of Sweetheart, however, may very well be Savory B-side "68". For an odd-time-signature rock song, "68" is disarmingly elegant, to the point where you barely even notice that it's chugging along in 7/4. Here, you can understand why the Dismemberment Plan were quick to cite Jawbox as an influence: The improbable chord changes and impossible rhythmic ideas on FYOSS are rendered as seamless and intuitive as possible. Though the playing here is solid throughout, nothing about the record is flashy or unattainable-- restraint and discipline consistently best self-aware complexity.

While FYOSS itself doesn't sound dated, the notion that plainly recorded guitar, bass, drums, and vocals can add up to something extraordinary sometimes does. The onslaught of radio-friendly "alternative" bands that followed Jawbox has left us understandably wary of well-produced, punk-informed rock music with no obvious quirks or departures. But FYOSS has aged well precisely because it did not pander to the aesthetic fads of its time-- mainstream or underground. Instead, Jawbox honed their sound, maximized the resources at their disposal, and made a record that hides behind no extraneous instruments, sounds, or ideologies.

— Matt LeMay, November 24, 2009

Mr. Gnome Gets Love in California


The California press is busy singing the praises of Cleveland's Mr. Gnome, with featured articles from LA Weekly and OC Weekly...

[LAWeekly.com] One hesitates to describe Mr. Gnome as a two-piece band. The awesome rush of sound that comes out of Nicole Barille's lungs and guitar and Sam Meister's drums seems much bigger and more powerful than anything two people are capable of. Mr. Meister shifts the room with each stomp of his kick drum, while Ms. Barille launches landslides of surging, Sensurround guitar on the Cleveland duo's second CD, Heave Yer Skeleton (El Marko Records). He hammers down her Sabbath-y riffs with a Bonhamesque finality on "Plastic Shadow," and they scour the clouds away with punk tempos and flamethrower blasts on "Cleveland Polka." But that's about as "normal" as Mr. Gnome gets. Stormy passages like "Hills, Valleys and Valium" are broken up with spacey interludes where Barille's eerie, wraith like keening mood-swings into delicately angelic cooing. Such arty juxtapositions are freaky, cute, savage and scary, all at the same time. Mr. Gnome don't really sound like anyone else, and their ghost-ridden songs only make sense with a dream time logic. They're also at Alex's Bar, Wed., Nov. 25.

The band are also featured in the OC Weekly HERE!!

Pixies "Minotaur" / Signature Shoes Have Arrived


[rollingstone.com] Pixies fever has swept into New York as the reunited rockers played the first of four Doolittle shows last night at the Hammerstein Ballroom. With Black Friday looming, the perfect gift for the Pixies fan in all of us is the band’s mammoth Minotaur box set. In the video above, check out the limited-edition version of Minotaur, which boasts artwork from the Pixies’ longtime graphic designer Vaughan Oliver. This 26-pound mega box features all five of the band’s studio albums — Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova and Trompe le Monde — on 24K gold-plated discs and 180-gram vinyl.

Minotaur will also come with both a 96-page fine art book and a 52-page photo book, a bookmark signed by all the members of the Pixies, two double-sided posters and a Giclee print of some of Oliver’s art. Topping it all off is a DVD and Blu-ray with all five Pixies albums on 5.1 Surround Sound Mix, an unreleased 1992 concert from London’s Brixton Academy and all of the band’s music videos. So yeah, it’s the ultimate stocking stuffer for any Pixies fans. There’s only 3,000 of these bad boys, so visit AINR.com for more info.



In other news...

[pitchfork.com] If you're the kind of person who spends your days grinding rails while humming "Debaser" to yourself, then we've got the perfect shoe for you.

Slicing Up Eyeballs points out that Vans has introduced a line of Pixies-themed skate shoes, which are on sale now. The Death to the Pixies shoes are available in slip-on and Sk8-Hi hi-top varieties. They feature the iconic early Pixies poster/T-shirt image of a slumped over Black Francis.

Alberta Cross Concert Review by Relix.com / Tour Dates


Relix.com has posted a review of a recent Alberta Cross concert...

[Relix.com] Hopping across the pond following a North American run, Alberta Cross returned to its roots for several London shows. London hipsters, American transplants and the band’s family members filled Bush Hall, an intimate venue decorated with crystal chandeliers and disco balls.

Opening for Alberta Cross was London-based Oh Ruin, led by Eoin O’Ruainigh. While the band emitted a similar mood as the headliner, Oh Ruin blended vocals reminiscent of Ryan Adams or Adam Duritz with the melancholic tones of Bon Iver. Playing for half-an-hour, Oh Ruin successfully captured the attention of mingling listeners in the bar and drew them deeper into the cavernous venue (the band even culled several members of Alberta Cross to observe the performance).

Alberta Cross (guitarist/vocalist Petter Ericson Stakee who donned a standard black scarecrow hat, bassist Terry Wolfers, guitarist Sam Kearney, drummer Austin Beede and keyboardist Alec Higgins) came onstage in ‘70s southern rock get-up, complete with shoulder-length hair.

With a moodiness reminiscent of Jeff Buckley but with the power of The White Stripes, the band opened with the slow rocker, “Song Three Blues,” from its latest, Broken Side of Time. Stakee’s gritty and soulful vocals drenched the audience in oozy, stripped blues for a fast-paced “Taking Control” and a crooning “Ramblin’ Home.” Even though his vocals were often nearly drowned out by an overpowering bass, slight technical difficulties didn’t stop the audience from dancing and singing along.

Originally on Alberta Cross’ self-produced EP, The Thief and the Heartbreaker, but re-released on the band’s recent album, “Old Man Chicago” was definitely reminiscent of a soft, Neil Young-like southern rock staple which was followed by the significantly less moody and melancholic crowd favorite, “Lucy Rider.” The packed audience listened, captivated, as Stakee’s vocals trembled and questioned, “Why do we always lose what we love?”

For a change of tone, Alberta Cross pounded out a slew of songs from the new album, including the haunting and reverberating “ATX,” with guitarist Kearney playing a wailing slide. The band closed the show with the popular “Low Man” and “City Walls.” The quintet will continue to play shows throughout Europe and then travel back to the States for two shows in VT in late December with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

In other Alberta Cross news...

[CMJ.com] Brooklyn-by-way-of-London alt-rockers Alberta Cross are heading out on the road early next year in support of their September-released full-length debut, Broken Side Of Time (ATO). In the past, the British Americana band have toured in support of Oasis, the Shins and Bat For Lashes in the UK, but this time, they will be headlining with support coming from San Antonio folk group Hacienda. The tour kicks off in San Diego on January 11 and closes February 5 in Philadelphia.

Tour Dates For Alberta Cross:
01/11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
01/12 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
01/14 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
01/15 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters Coffee
01/16 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill
01/18 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
01/19 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
01/23 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
01/27 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
01/28 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
01/ 29 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
01/30 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
02/02 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater
02/03 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Backstage
02/04 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02/05 - Philadelphia, PA - The Khyber