Sunday, March 1, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 7.5

Cheap Girls with opening acts Restorations, Chris Farren, and The Slow Death at the Turf Club in St Paul MN on February 27th, 2015.

I went to this concert to see Restorations. It was the first time that they had been through the Twin Cities and I was so excited they were going to make a stop here. I was not sure that I was going to go and see them until the day before. It was kind of a tense moment making that decision, which is perfect for this band really. I hope they come through again in the future.

I took my wife to see the concert. I did not pre-order tickets like I would usually have done. I guess that added to the tension that I had mentioned previously. It was not an issue and we got in right away. We got there early and were able to get a table with stools.

I went up to the merchandise table to see what was available. I was hoping to see a copy of the first release from the band, a split 12” with Rosetta, but it was not to be. I forgot to bring my copy of Call + Response for the band to sign. They did have copies of that 7” so I bought another copy. The drummer, Carlin Brown, sold me the copy and started to tell me the story behind the release. I stopped him right away to let him know that this would be my second copy and asked if he could sign it. He said that not only would he sign it he would bring it around to the other members of the band and get them to sign it too.  That was probably the easiest garnering of signatures that I have ever had. There was a small issue of trying to find everyone though. He dropped the record off at the table and got everyone over to our table to sign it eventually before any of the other opening acts started to play. Actually, the keyboardist, Ben Pierce, ended up staying to talk to us as the other members were rounded up.

We talked to Ben about the groups first time playing in the Twin Cities. From there we moved on to talk about how a certain number of people living in St Paul have never been to Minneapolis. He looked at us a little confused. We then compared it to living in New Jersey and never going to New York City. He said that was ridiculous. We then went on to explain that it isn’t the same the other way around. Most people who live in Minneapolis have been to St Paul. We moved on from that topic and started talking about the record that I had just bought. It is two sides that make up one track. When I got my first copy I recorded the song like I usually do but I had to join the tracks together. I found that when I did this the track time comes to about nine minutes and ten seconds. I quoted seven and a half, my mistake. But the point is that the record is shorter than the digital download version. Ben didn’t know but though that I should bring this up with the lead singer, Jon Loudon. I didn’t get a chance to talk with Jon but maybe he will read this and have a possible answer. I had also asked Ben if they were going to stop over at any radio stations for an interview. He said that there wasn’t anything planned but they were going to go north to Fargo and would be talking with some folks there. I guess that I got the only interview in the Twin Cities. If only I had recorded the conversation that we had. I did get all of them to sign the book before the first opening act started.

The first act was The Slow Death. They were early on in their career as a band it seemed like. The lead singer was already drunk before they got on stage. I am not sure if they were just having a good time or if the lead singer needed the alcohol to perform on stage. Either way they were not as good as they could have been if they were a bit more serious about the situation. They had that east coast sound that I have talked about in the past that reminds me of Bruce Springsteen but more modern. The jokes between songs were so bad mainly because of the alcohol consumption.

Chris Farren took the stage next. I saw him getting ready and thought to my self, “There is no supporting members, it is just him?” He had a pretty arch-top guitar that was set to the neck pickup it sounded like. I didn’t see a pickup on the body though so it must have been some kind of internal pickup. I mention this because the guitar sound didn’t have any body to it. Maybe he liked it that way, not my style unless I have other layers on top of that higher pitched sound. It was difficult to hear him as the mix was too soft. I wear earplugs when I go to concerts and I expect to be able to hear the music with the earplugs in. I took one out to be able to listen to this guy. I just sort of lost interest in what he was doing on stage. I think that most of the crowd did too. Most of the people left the dance floor and did other stuff. I think that Chris has something with what he is doing but he needs to flesh it out with something. I don’t know if it should be a fuller tone or more members in the group.

Next was Restorations. They played eight songs in their set. All of them sounding so good and polished I felt like I was listening to a CD. I have never felt that they were a hard rock group and they proved it with this show. The songs were awesome slow burners that have emotion and feeling. They don’t make you think but give off a warm melancholic feeling. I bobbed my head to the beat as if I were saying yes this is exactly what I needed on this day and at this time. What a release.

The first song they played was Misprint from their latest album, LP3. They were supposed to play Wales but I think that they were short on time so they skipped it. Wales isn’t my favorite song so I was happy to find that they did skip it after seeing the set list. Misprint on the other hand was a great way to start off the set. It is a slow burn track that uses primarily two chords to move the song. They nailed the song with what seemed little to no effort, perfection in the making.

New Old was the second song played. This is a track off a single that never made it to one of the albums. I always like it when a group plays songs from the harder to find singles and EPs. It makes me feel like they really care about their fans and pick the tracks that will make them happy too. It is a faster song that gets me moving. I like the distorted bass just hovering under the surface. It is like choppy waters that are trying their best to calm down. The breaks in the song are sweet and meaning full. Jon’s vocals are borderline country and sound fantastic with the band backing in a rock feel, one of my favorite songs from the group.

The only other song not from LP3 was Lets Blow Up The Sun. This track faster paced rocker with slower paced vocals. The drums on this one are loud with heavy use of symbols. It is perfect for the song though. It helps to keep the intensity up on the track. I still can’t get over the way that Jon can so easily slip from clean and clear vocals to that slight raspy, almost gritty, vocal style. It is so good and helps to accentuate certain vocal lines.

The last song in the set was Separate Songs. This was the reason that I got heavy into this group. I had known about them through Side One Dummy Records with the release of their second album, LP2, but didn’t really dig into the group to much at that point. When I hear this song I had to have everything I could get my hands on from them. I am now just missing their first split single with Rosetta. This song is just perfect for me. The layers of guitar, the walking bass line that fast paced drums and the awesome vocal style all make me feel so happy.

They were going to play one additional track but like with the first track they didn’t have enough time to fit it in. The last song was going to be a song called Adventure Tortoise.

Thanks to all the bands for coming out and of course thanks to the Turf Club for having them. A special thanks to Restorations for signing my second copy of Call + Response IV.

Restorations Set List:
New Old
Tiny Prayers
Most Likely A Spy
The Future
Lets Blow Up The Sun
All My Home
Separate Songs

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 7

The second single from Death Cab For Cutie has been released and it is called No Room In Frame. If you have pre-ordered the album you get a free digital version of the song along with the first single, Black sun.

Squarepusher has a new album coming out on April 20th. The album will be called Damogen Furies and will feature only eight tracks. The first single is called Rayc Fire 2.

The Lead singer for Perfect Pussy has started her own label called HonorPress. If you like Perfect Pussy you may like the new band on the label called So Stressed. You can check out the first single from the album on the Bandcamp page.

The Hives have a new single called Blood Red Moon. I read that this was for a movie so I am not really sure if this also means a new album could be dropping this year or not.

Here we go...

I got this album when it was released back in October 2014 when it was released. I have been sitting on it for quite a while. I was a bit turned off by the opening tracks intro. The sound reminded me of the sound of the ultrasound machine. It is somewhat unsettling to me and I can’t describe why. I didn’t want to mark the album off so I just didn’t review it. The album was still sitting in my list of albums to review though. I knew I still wanted to talk about it. Last night I went to a concert to see them and it has since renewed my interest in the album. Side note: there will be a review of the concert to be posted sooner than later. The album was put out by Side One Dummy on CD, DL and vinyl. The vinyl was released in multiple color variants all in a starburst style. I ended up getting the red/white/yellow/black starburst record. It is absolutely beautiful for a bad color pairing, but the other color options are not that much better. I actually think that the colors represent the band perfectly though.

The first single from the album is called Separate Songs. This is the first song that I heard from the album and fell for the song instantly. The song starts off with hard hitting drums and a plinky guitar. It develops into this amazing track with organ multiple guitars and a beautiful solo guitar part. The vocals are confounding with clarity and grit fading in to each other. It is absolutely genius what Jon Loudon can do with his voice. The song does follow the loud soft loud style and it works amazingly. It is a song with feeling and I like those songs the most.

Misprint is the next single from the album. It is a slow burning track that leads into the song with a sweet guitar solo. The layers of guitar on this track are brilliant with each having a different riff and different tones. It is a beautiful song that reminds me of dusk on a cool night in spring or summer when the day is winding down and the edge of the skyline on the horizon is nearly purple as the sun fades of the edge of the world. It is a mellow track with some power behind it.

The last single from this album is called Tiny Prayers. This track is a bit more in your face. it is not a pop track by any means. It kind of grabs you by the collar with both hands and talks to you sternly. It still has the amazing layering of guitars and the bit of grit over the smooth vocals but the song has something it wants to tell you with a bit of force and concern. You better listen because it is serious about what it has to say.

This is a truly great album and I am happy that I have such a great album.
This is the latest EP from SubVibe. It is 100% free. It features seven hot dub step tracks that are absolutely amazing. The download if through MediaFire and you can get there through their Bandcamp page. The duo has done some extensive promo work to get the word out about the new EP. They had given out each of the tracks digitally before the full album release sort of like Weird Al Yankovic did with most of the songs on his last album. A “one track a week” ethic up until the release of the full EP. I have been into the group since I heard that they use the same software to write their music that I use. It was actually the company that makes the software, Propellerheads, who pointed me in their direction. I really like what they have done. I hope that they continue to make this great electronic music and I can’t wait for the day that they release a physical copy to the world. For me, that says that a band has actually made it as a group. I am not trying to push them but I wait in excitement for that day.

Any way, there are some awesome tracks on this EP and one of them has become my favorite electronic song to date. I am going to save that one for last though. The first track that I want to talk about is called StepBack. It is the first track on the EP. It starts off as a great standard dub step track but takes a great turn when the music takes a step up in key. It is totally unexpected and works incredibly well. It kept me interested in the whole track just based on this musical change. It is not like the track is monotonous either there are different parts to the song that take it through other changes before coming back to the loop that goes through key changes. It is inspiring to say the least.

The next track that I like is called Pillow Fight. It starts off with a cool synth part and hard hitting drums. The intro goes through a slow build and drops off with a guy screaming Pillow Fight but modulated to sound not human. The track then kicks back in and becomes more abrasive with heavy modulated melody. In the second drop the duo make use of a beautiful guitar sound that floats in the back ground like pink cotton candy clouds. It is truly an amazing track that has links to the electronic music, techno, which I use to listen to back in the 90s.

The one track on the album that I don’t like so much is called Ape Squad. It has a brilliant intro that is similar to Pillow Fight but the instance it is done the song starts with this sound that reminds me of a dog barking and it never changes pitch. It is constant with the rhythm that it makes and is totally a turn off for me. That doesn’t mean that the song doesn’t have its merits. The parts of the song that don’t have this barking dog sound are absolutely amazing. I just wish that there was something more done with this monotone sound in the song.

Lastly, my favorite song on the EP is called Can We Talk AboutThe Mail. They took a skit from the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. It is the mail skit from season 4; episode 10 called Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack. Now, I am not a fan of the show but this skit taken out of context is absolutely hilarious. For the duo to put this high tension skit to high tension electronic music is absolutely genius. I can’t get enough of this track and they way that they put it to music. Not only were they able to amp up the tension of the skit they also added to the comedy of the skit using music. In the chorus of the music they make a sound bite of Charlie saying the word “Shit” and added this bubbly blip sound right after it accentuating the word making it even more funny than it was for example. This song has now taken over the top spot in my electronic favorites list over District 78 – Game On and The Glitch Mob remix of The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army. If you know this skit or like electronic music you have got to hear this track, it is awesome!

This guy is the guitarist for the band Fucked Up. I have never taken the time to listen to anything from that group but Slumberland records has taken the time to put out a solo mini album from the guy. After hearing the smooth sounds from the first single, I had to get a copy for myself. After reading up on the guy, Ben Cook, I found that he has penned numerous songs for the likes of Sum 41, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, a few Canadian Idols, Snow, Maroon 5 and one or two OVO affiliates (Drakes Canadian record label). He is behind the scenes for the most part basically. The album doesn’t officially drop until March 10th but you can pre-order at Slumberland Records. The vinyl comes in a limited sky blue color if your interested in that sort of thing.

The first single from the album is called Wrong Crowd. It is a long track running at nearly seven and a half minutes. This is unexpected for me as most initial singles from new bands are short to get the listeners attention and get them to want more. This track doesn’t drag out but instead drags you in. There is an awesome bass line loop that walks all over my 80s loving synth heart through the long chorus sections. and the verse sections that are very short through some change into the mix so you don’t get bored with the smooth bass line and simple vocals. The addition of the sax solo in the middle of the song doesn’t come off as 80s TV show sound track either, just kidding, it totally does and I think it works amazingly too.

The second single from this mini album is called Crawling Back To You. This is a great rocking track that reminds me of the late 80s rock bands like Cutting Crew but with the vocals from groups like Starship or Prince. It is a great combination that seems to work amazingly well. I like all of these bands that I have listed and to have something that sounds so similar to all three of these favorite bands fills so many holes in my desires for music.

I really hope that this album catches on and that he keeps on with this solo effort because the music deserves to be heard and loved by the masses.

That is all for now. Expect that Restorations concert review soon though...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 6

Surfer Blood have signed with a new record label, JoyfulNoise, and will have a new record out in May of this year called 1000 Palms. There has been a single put out called Grand Inquisitor. There has been a limited CD single put out for the song that has a lathe cut on the outside of the CD so that it can be played on a turntable and or a CD player. I wish I could have gotten a copy but they were mailed out only to members of the record club.

Passion Pit will also have a new album this year called Kindred. There has already been a couple of singles released from the album, Lifted Up (1985) and Where The Sky Hangs. iTunes has it available for preorder and I think that Amazon has just put it up for preorder too.

Apparently, New Order will have a new album out this fall. I am interested in what the line-up changes will be since Peter Hook is not with the group any more.

Blur will also have a new album out in the end of April. I am excited to hear that album. This will be their first full album release in twelve years. The album will be called The Magic Whip.

Here we go...

This is a small record label with a small back catalog. Their physical store is found on Storenvy and digital is on Bandcamp. This four way split comes in multiple color options (cloud, swamp, bubblegum seaweed, deep sea, root beer river, lavender, mermaid, moss, emerald, volcano, lake water and grape pop). None of which show a color example so I was really guessing as to what the colors of the vinyl could actually be. I took a shot at the volcano and ended up with an interesting maroon swirled with hints of black and transparent. It looked gorgeous wit a light source behind it. With all these colors available there are only 318 copies pressed of this record.

The first track is from Reservoir called Crawling Space. It is a deep brooding song that relies on the bass guitar to carry the song. The drums are sparse but clean up into a flowing beat later in the song. The guitars are sparse but use long soaring notes. The song is a slower song that makes me feel like the way that Pig Pen dances in the Peanuts’ cartoons. The song picks up just a bit in the last bit of the song and makes me feel a little better. I probably wont be searching this group out based on this track though.

The second track is from a band called Summerpunx called Local Bands. This song reminds me of the first album from Weezer. It is fast and poppy with distorted vocals. It is also over in the blink of an eye with a running time of 47 seconds. With the shortness of the track I get Tony Molina as well. I like this track a lot but want so much more from the song.

The third song is from Runaway Brother called Sap. This was the reason that I got the 7”. It is a fun track that reminds me of Restorations if they sang in an emo style. I really don’t know why I am attracted to this band because when I listen to them there is nothing special going on but I feel good listening to the group. It may be that this was the style that I was listening to in the beginning of the 00s and it transports me back there to some degree to the positive side of that trying time for me. Either way, I enjoy the music that this group puts out even though they are not super star quality yet.

The last track from this split is from Secret Grief with a song called Scandinavian Casual. I am not sure what the title of the track has to do with the song but this is another song that makes me feel happy even if it is a downer song. It is also a shorter song running at just over two and a half minutes. I think it hits me as a saves the day style song. I really like Saves The Day and thus I like this track a lot as well.
This is the latest album from The Dodos. It was released on January 27th on vinyl, CD, DL and cassette. The vinyl was released on red (limited to 600) and orange. I got a copy on red and there are still some available at Polyvinyl Records web site. This record was written and recorded right after their previous one, Carrier. They didn’t waist any time getting this one down. It is a shorter album though maybe because they didn’t have as much material available. On the other hand, if you had enough extra tracks to make another album and they are polished up and ready for recording, why not.

There have been two singles released from the album so far. The first is called Competition. The duo make some very attractive music and it shows with this poly-rhythm rocker. Again they have chosen to abandon the acoustic guitar with not only this track but the whole album. The track is a smash that should rival what Vampire Weekend are doing but the group just hasn’t met the public’s eye yet.

The second single is called Retriever. This track uses a bit more distortion and picks up the pace a bit more than Competition. The vocals soar over the speedy music sort of slowing down the song. It is a very cool contrast in the track though. Fast paced drums and speedy fingering guitar work with smooth slower vocals. I really like this track but still have yet to hear them on the radio. It is disappointing.

Last week I mentioned that the group put out a new single for free download, Hold Your Hand. Here it is for me to talk about. It was a free single put out for Valentines Day last week. I know that the track is up on iTunes now but I am not sure if the link that I put in to last weeks post will lead to the free download link any more. The song features the classic synth keys sound that they have used in the past. It is a sweet song about exactly what the title of the song states, holding hands. It is kind of in the young love vein. It is cute. It could also be construed as walking with God through life. This is also a good thing though. It is a good song that is heart felt and moves at a moderate pace. I like the song and hope you all do as well.

That is all for now...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 5

Family Force 5 have released a new single called Hold Your Hand. It is a free track that you can get from their web page.

Joanna Gruesome have a new album out soon. Slumberland will have preorders up soon. The album is called Peanut Butter and will be pressed on purple and green swirl vinyl. The first single from the album is called Last Year. The album will be in record stores in June.

Hot Chip will also have a new album out on May 19th. This album is called Why Make Sense?

The new band Runaway Brother will have a new album out called Mother. It will be released on Tiny Engines records.  It will be released sometime in early 2015.

Jason Graveface has started a second record label/video rental store called Terror-Vision. There will be record subscriptions as with Graveface Records. It is a bit higher to opt into this record club as they really need the funds to get going. I am interested in some of the soundtracks that are going to be pressed though and I will be keeping my eye on what they are doing.

The new single from the new Death Cab For Cutie album is out and is called Black Sun. There is a lyric video and a regular video out there for your viewing.

Record Store Day 2015 is about two months away. The ambassador for this year has been announced as Dave Grohl. He is quoted as saying, “These places became my churches, my libraries, my schools. They felt like home.”

Kip Berman, who makes up basically all of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, wished me a happy Birthday last week. I was so struck but then I saw that my wife asked him to do so. It still means a lot that he actually did. Thanks again Kip!

 Here we go...

This is the groups first release from back in 2012. It is a seven track mini-album. It was originally self-released on CD but was later released as a split 12” vinyl record with Secret Grief. They have a sound that reminds me of emo/screamo music from the early 00s. I guess you could call it a revival but Saves The Day, one of my favorite emo groups, just put out an album two years ago. I guess that means it is not really a revival as much as another band that can call itself emo? Any way, they are still selling the CD on their bandcamp page. Go pick one up if you’re into that type of music. I am excited to get the new album, Mother, which is coming out soon.

There was only one single released from the album that I am aware of. That is the first song from the album called Blueberries. It is a catchy track with stunning breaks and great guitar solos. The vocals are amazing and the bass has a fun line that strikes when you least expect it to.

The second track on the album and the one that I most like is called We Don't Have to Go Home Anymore. It is a song that shows independence and some of the responsibilities that go with it. It is a fun song that features acoustic guitar on the rhythm guitar part. I personally like that a lot. Electric guitar is all over everything these days and to showcase the acoustic over the electric gives a new dimension on music. There aren’t many bands that are doing this. With acoustic guitars now having the ability to be electrified or the old school way of micing the guitar it should be a no brainer to use this fantastic instrument in a rock n’ roll way.

It is a great album that deserves a listen especially with a new full length soon to hit.

This is a complete remake of the album. The album was remixed and the tracks were reordered from what the original album is. It is all ten tracks but in a different order. The album art is completely different as well. This new version was pressed on blue vinyl. The limited edition vinyl was hand poured and, in some cases didn’t have a label on the record. Because the limited version was hand poured this means that every record is completely different from any other. My record doesn’t have the label and is colored maroon with white and black. I did write about the original album way back. If you’re interested in what I had to say you can check it out, from Vol. 3 Episode 12.

The group say that this is the way that they wanted the record to sound. They don’t really give a reason why the original sounds the way that it does but this is the way that they wanted it to be. Personally the re-arranging of the songs doesn’t really mean much in a world where people can arrange the songs the way that they want any way. I get the remixing of the songs. I can only guess that they were pressured in to keeping the songs smooth and clean to sell the record. The remixed version has a lick of distortion over all, where as the original had a smooth clean sound over all. It is actually hard for me to listen to the new version simply because I am use to the order of the songs on the album. I expect to hear Junebouvier after Reverse because that it the way that I have heard the album so many times. I am tempted to make a playlist of the Redux version with a song order like the original version. I think that I like the sound of both versions as they do have their merits but, like I said, that playlist is really tempting.

So, a while back for the tenth anniversary of 89.3 The Current, the radio station put together their first record. This is not to say that they haven’t put out a compilation record every year for the past eleven years plus. This is really a record with only to bands on it; it is a split record after all. I think what they are trying to get at is that when a group puts out a record it is just that one group. This is just that, although it is a split record which does happen frequently too. Although I don’t really like either group it is something that The Current has put out so I can’t say no. It is a 10” record with the cover being hand stamped by members of the radio station. All tracks were recorded in The Current studios or from a concert that The Current put on. It is cool that they put out a 10” record for their ten year anniversary though. The Hold Steady have four tracks on the A side of the album and The Suicide Commandos have three on the B side. It should be still available from your local record shops in Minnesota. You can buy it on line through their web pages. I got my copy on line at the Electric Fetus web shop. Here is a list of the shops that got the record to resell.

Agharta Records
Cheapo Records
Down in the Valley (3 locations)
Electric Fetus
Eclipse Records
Know Name Records
Orange Records (Fargo)
Treehouse Records

That is all for now...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 4

Check out the new group Them Are Us Too. They have been compared to 4AD and Creation Records sounds from the 80s with direct comparisons to Cocteau Twins. They have two tracks out on soundcloud that sound amazing. I will be keeping my ears on this duo.

OK Go have contributed a new song called You’re A Fucking Nerd And No One Likes You to the Hot Tub Time Machine 2 soundtrack.

You can now preorder one of two EPs scheduled for release this year from Incubus over at their web page. The two EPs will complete the full album for 2015.

Foxes has started working on her second album. Not much more info than that though.

Here we go...

This is an EP that came from the Graveface Charity series. It is a 7” released on black, brown or double mint/gold vinyl. The proceeds went to the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. When this series was new I got a triptych of these singles. The series didn’t sell all that well and you can now get these as separates. I recently got into Haley Bonar and purchased her charity single in the limited double mint/gold color.

The first track, Baby In The Water, is an amazing track that sounds like it could have been on her latest album, Last War. It has a really cool underlying string section that is absolutely beautiful. The lyrics convey urgency because there is a baby in the water and a snake in the grass but the music isn’t that fast giving a bit of confusion. Will she get to the baby before the water takes the baby or the snake bites? It is a beautiful song with built in tension.

Be My Kazoo is a sweet song about a relationship. She is willing to be whatever it takes to be the right thing for the relationship but at the same time they don’t need to try because they are so perfect together. It is a fun love and friendship song.

the last song comes off a bit redneck. there are no actual lyrics except Do-del-le-do. It is still a bit fun when I listen to it and it shows me where some of the stuff for Gramma’s Boyfriend came from. By the way I am excited for a second album from that group too!

First off, Perfect Pussy (PP) are a hardcore female lead punk group. The group was originally formed to create a song for a movie called Adult World. The group continued working on new music after the song was created. The result of that was this EP that was self released by the band. The EP was originally released on cassette and later as download. Just recently it was also pressed to vinyl through Captured Tracks. The vinyl is single sided with the bands logo etched on the B side.

Meredith Graves is one of the most punk people I have ever seen. Her vocals sound threatening but unintelligible for the most part and she still dresses like a girl. Good or bad it’s cute as hell. She is also tattooed like a sailor which is kind of funny to me, more important than all of this is that the lyrics to these songs are positive. If feel happy and lighter when I hear her sing “I am full of light, I am filled with joy”

There are four tracks on the EP, each labeled with a roman numeral (I, II, III, VI).
Each of these four songs on this EP are unique and fun with an underlying pop feel under the noise that is noisy punk rock with the screamed lyrics found somewhere in the middle of the pop and noise music that is PP. There is something that attracts me to this group and I think that I just nailed it. I am not going to decrypt this EP as I want to like it for its face value. I will get into their full length at a later date though as half of the EP is on the full length anyway.

This is some of the best punk music that I have heard in a long time.

Third Man Records has put out the third installment of the Sun/Third Man represses. This time all three of them are from Roy Orbison. While he is better known for his pop hits from Monument Records, these three singles have some great pop sensibility with some classic clean sounds that make you want to move and groove.

Chicken-Hearted has some great slide guitar sounds that are fragile sounding with the treble turned all the way up. The saxophone solo parts are raw and sensual. Orbison’s vocals are so smooth and clean it is hard to say no to this single, it’s hard not to dance too.

I Like Love smacks of Jerry Lee Louis’s Great Balls of Fire but sounds so good with Orbison’s vocals on the track. Although it sounds like Louis the song is still a great rocker.

Sweet And Easy To Love shows the softer and slower side of Orbison. It is a sweet and slow love song that had to have the girls crooning for the man. It does get a bit repetitive with the chorus though.

Devil Doll is another slow song about an x-girlfriend that dumped him. It depicts this story about a high school couple. He wants to warn the others about her wily tricks but he also still wants her back at the same time.

Ooby Dooby is basically a dance song showing you how to do a dance but with out being specific. The song has some great ululation it is even in the song title. The guitar solo is so cool sounding. I could see the cool kids getting down to this in the 50s.

Go! Go! Go! is a quick song about not stopping. It is a great song that moves and is designed to get you on that dance floor and move it. I think it does it very well.
That's all for now...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 3

The Echo Lake album called Era will be released on March 2nd.

The Death Cab For Cutie album called Kintsugi will be released on March 31st. 

89.3 The Current has put out a limited edition 10" record (1000 pressed) featuring The Hold Steady and The Suicide Commandos. They are all live tracks and you can pick it up at The Electric Fetus.

That is the only new information that I really have.

This is a split 7” EP from two great female lead punk groups. The record is accompanied by a comic book that tells the tail of the Captured Crusader. The record was released through Captured Tracks, Slumberland Records and Fortuna Pop! The record also runs at two different speeds. The A side is at 45 and the B side is at 33 RPM. The EP was originally scedualed to be released in early fall but because of RSDBF it got pushed back to a November release, I didn’t actually get my copy until December. Each group contributed one original track and a cover track. Some copies that were send out had the wrong record in the sleeve. That wrong record was AC/DC’s Rock or Bust single. I got the right record but I have seen some pictures.

The A side, Joanna Gruesome side, has the tracks Psykick Espionage and ...And Keep Reaching For Those Stars. The latter being a cover from the band I Hate My Self. Their original song, Psykick Espionage starts off with a grand noise and calms down just a little so we can hear the lead singer scream as loud as she can, it seems. Then it calms down a bit more so we can hear a very pretty vocal line in the chorus. Then it picks up again for the second verse and calms down again for the second chorus and the end flattens out to be a great punk song with beautiful light and airy female vocals.

The second track, ...AndKeep Reaching For Those Stars, from them is short and focuses on the female vocals with male vocals right under the female vocals giving the support that makes all vocals stand out over the noise that the group is making. Although it is short, it is one of my favorite tracks from the group.

The first song from Perfect Pussy is called Adult World (The Secret). The female vocals are so raw and unintelligible but for me work so well with the punk noise that the group makes so well. The instrumentation on the song is partially noise but mostly music. There is defiantly something special going on with this group. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

The second track from them is called A Leash Called Love. This is a cover from The Sugar Cubes. The first couple of times I listened to this track I actually got lost in the music and thought that Bjork was singing the song with a noisier backing band. Meredith Graves, the lead singer for Perfect Pussy, does such an exceptional job at getting the style of Bjorks’ vocals within the confines of PP’s punk style. It is a really amazing rendition of this song.

I am glad that I had to wait to get this EP. It is one of my favorites of 2014.

This is a digital only EP from Dresses. It features two new songs and three acoustic tracks. This EP is sweet and fun. The duo, who were a couple, have now apparently stopped dating but, thankfully, they are still writing music together. This is great news for fans of the music. The duo has also reportedly started branching out in their sound pallet. Jared has said that they have been listening to all kinds of music to get new inspirations for new music.

The first song and single from the EP is the title track, Lonely One. The song is about being in a relationship and remembering what is was like when they were not in a relationship. It could also be seen as being in a relationship but not sharing each others lives with each other making them feel lonely. I know both situations as I have problems sharing my life and who hasn’t been in a relationship before, everyone. So, everyone understands at least one side of the story. It is a sweet song even if it is a little depressing.

The second new song from the EP is called Duet Song. It is a slower song with a simple beat played on a guitar with the duo singing together. The way they sing together on this track is very complex and very enjoyable. They sing about a few different things in the song. My favorite part of the lyrics is when they are singing about the first time he took her home at the end of the song. They took a shower together after his parents had left the house. He sings that they only kissed but I imagine a bit more than that probably happened. I don’t know if this is based on fact or a made up story but either way it was cute and I enjoyed it.

The next three songs are the acoustic songs. I am not usually a fan of acoustic songs but these versions seem to support the duos strengths even if they are thin sounding next to the studio versions. It is after all the two of them with a guitar after all. The songs are, Sun Shy, TellA Lie and Painting Roses.

The EP is very good and I hope this means there will be more music coming from them in the future.

This is the latest single from Haim. It was put out on a 10” shaped picture disc. I am usually not interested in picture discs but I still don’t have a shaped record and I thought this was unique enough to get it. This is the sixth single taken from the album Days Are Gone. There was also a video put out to support the single.

The A side of the record is just the album version of the song, My Song 5. It is not my favorite track form the album but works well as a late single from the album. What I do like is the super bass synth that is used in the back ground. The problem with the song is the same sound. It takes the song in an odd direction for me. Either way it is still a good song.

The B side of the single is a remix of the song with an addition from the rapper A$AP Ferg, My Song 5 Feat. A$AP Ferg. I don’t know who he is or what he does but the rap that he adds to the song doesn’t exactly seem to fit the song. He talks about marriage, cheating and sex with other girls. I guess it fits but he is talking about the male side and the girls are singing about the female side where they don’t want to be in the relationship because of the things he talks about. I feel like this version comes off a bit disjointed because of the addition of the rapping.

I am happy that I have the single but confused about why they did this remix.

That is all for now...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 2

There will be a repressing for the Ar-Kaics record over at Windian Records.

Echo Lake have announced a new record through No Pain InPop. No word yet if Slumberland Records will be carrying it.

Record Store Day has announced the date for 2015, April 18th. The 20th doesn’t fall on a weekend this year.

On with the show...

I have been waiting for a long time to get my hands on this split single. It was released in 2008. When I talked to Kip about the release he said that half of the 300 records that were pressed were lost. This means that there is probably only about 150 of these singles in existence. The copy that I found was number 45. I had a digital copy of the track from The Pains but I like to have a physical copy of my music if at all possible. The record was originally released on Atomic Beat Records. There was an insert that came with the record that was printed on orange paper that introduced both bands along with some liner notes about the release.

The A side is the Parallelograms side which has two tracks from the group. The first track is called 1, 2, 3 Go! It is a fun indie pop track with fun female vocals sung in a bit of a lack luster style. It keeps my interest though and that is what is important I guess, keeping the listeners interest that is.

The second track is called Pop The Bubbles. It is a bit faster of a song but keeps that innocent style of fun pop music. The singer sings about liking to pop bubbles because they are beautiful and shiny. It is cute and fun music and vocals. There isn’t really any substance behind the music, it is just simple and fun.

The B side is the song from The Pains, Kurt Cobain's Caradigan. I briefly mentioned this track in Vol. 2 Episode 7. It is a good track that reminds me of their band name song, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. They are both great songs and both are a couple of the first songs that they ever recorded. What stands out even more is that they still stand up today and sound just as fresh and new to me. This is great music from a great band.

Obviously, you can’t just run out and get this record but you can get digital versions of these songs. I highly advise that you do get digital copies of these songs they are great!

This is her sixth album released in May of 2014. I got a special deal through Graveface Records and got the album on CD, Cassette and hand poured vinyl. My vinyl copy was a mix of dark green and baby blue. It is kind of disgusting but pretty at the same time. It is also limited and hand numbered out of 300 units. I have known about Haley Bonar for a while. As a matter of fact, she has a song on 89.3 The Current Live Current Vol. 4, Local Current Vol. 2 and a cover song on the Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 4. So, you can see that I have known of her music for some time now. It wasn’t until this album that a couple of tracks really caught my ear. Because of this I have picked up most of her music. There are just a couple of items that I can’t seem to find. Anyway, there is something on this album that grabbed me by the throat to get my attention to listen to the album. It helps that she is on Graveface records now, one of my current favorite record companies. I don’t know if Jason had any influence on the direction sonically for the album but there are some very cool wall of sound moments on the album. This is kind of an underground thing that is happening again in music and I have documented some of the new groups that are doing this.

There are a few really great songs on this short album. The first of which is the first single released from the album. The song is called From A Cage. I first saw the video for the song and it is what got me into the album in the first place. The intro is a three no loop on a Whirlitzer keyboard. This three note loop goes through the whole song. It does change for the chorus but it is so simple and elegant. The song is built around this keyboard loop and I really can’t get enough of it. The Music that is built around the loop is so simple as well. The song itself is a bit of a downer but the video that goes with it is so interesting that I can over look the depression. Since I have seen the video already and have already over looked the down feel of the song I only see the beauty of the song. On a side note, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) does some backing vocals on this track. Haley had said in an interview that she had written this song just to have him sing backing vocals. It is kind of silly but the song works well.

The second single from the album is the title track, LastWar. The song is about the end of a relationship. It is about when your have already given up on the relationship and this is the last straw and last fight. It is a soft song with lots of reverb and echo in the background on the chorus giving that wall of sound feel but still having clarity up front. Her vocals and the bass and electric guitars are so clear. It is a beautiful sound that people who cant handle the noise of shoegaze will like. It is a beautiful song with unusual clarity for a shogaze track.

The last song that I really like from this album is called Eat For Free. The song is also simple with just an acoustic guitar for musical support. The track also features Justin Vernon on backing vocals giving the song that little bit more depth. The song is an interpretation of the state of music where artist use the pay what you want or get it for free model of purchasing. Haley applies this to a relationship to great effect. The song becomes something unique and sweet. I think the song pulls something from, believe it or not, the song from Staind called Outside but to better effect because of the backing vocals. I think that the subject matter here also outdoes the face value style of the song from Staind as well.

I think this is a great album and I only wish I had found interest in Haley’s music sooner.

This is a side project from Haley Bonar. This is their first album and it was put out in February of 2013. I got a copy of this album with the latest Haley Bonar album. This album is on a half and half record of slightly transparent cherry and light blue. This is my first half and half record and I am happy that it is this record. I saw the group play with the Graveface Road Show nearly a year ago. I had no idea who the lead singer was at the time. I think that it is awesome that I saw Haley Bonar sing live and I can say that now that I know who she is. Seeing this group at the show was the highlight for me and having the album now just reminds me of that concert and how much fun their set was. I am excited to get more music from them as they are working on a new album that is scheduled for release in 2015.

There were two singles that were released from this album. The first single is actually two songs, I Have This Feeling and Sugar Crash!The video to support I Have This Feeling included the short song Sugar Crash! Both songs are a bit odd but this group is about having fun more than being serious. The song carries a fun groove and has pretty simple beat. The lyrics sing about her having a dream with out her friends and she kind of blames her friends for not being there like it was their fault for not being there. It is kind of silly to think like that but the way it is done is interesting and fun. The second part, Sugar Crash!, is set up to be a song about what it feels like to be on a sugar high because you have just eaten a bunch of sugar. It is a very short song and comes to an end quick to resemble the sudden low after the sugar high. Both are fun songs.

The second single is called We R Ctrl. This is another short song that is very punchy in its delivery. It is set up like a Devo track with short controlled notes to show the control that they are delivering. The vocals are bizarre, fun and interesting. The video is shot live so it sounds a little bit simpler that the nearly out of control recording that is on the album. The album version is nearly out of control and that is the comedy of the song. I like both versions but I remember the live concert that I went to and it sounded more like the video than the album version.

The other song that I really liked was the song Lazy Bones. I like the 808 style drums that underlay the actual drums in the song. The lyric to the song in the verse are silly and don’t make much sense but the chorus is repetitive and fun. It reminds me of the Soul Coughing track of the similar name, Lazybones, but this song from Gramma’s Boyfriend is a lot more fun and poppy.

I really like this album and hope that the upcoming album is filled with just as much energy.
That is all for now...