Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 40

Family Force 5 are making some lineup changes. Solomon Olds (A.K.A. Soul Glow Activatur) has stepped down from the lead vocalist position. He will still be a part of the group in the song writing and remixing of their music. He sited that he wanted to spend more time with his family. His brother, Jacob Olds (A.K.A. Crouton) will be taking over the vocals for the group. They have also picked up a new drummer, Teddy Boldt (A.K.A. Hollywood). The group are currently working on a follow up to III. This new, untitled, album is expected to be released in 2014. I am sad so hear that Solomon is leaving but at the same time I am excited to see and hear the new changes for the group.

Sea Wolf has four days to go on its Kickstarter program. They are at just over $35,000 but are shooting for $50,000. I don’t know if they are going to make it. I hope that they do but it seems unlikely with an additional $15,000 to go in four days. I have done a few of these for Pledge Music and they have all hit their mark. This is my first Kickstarter.

Falling Up have a free additional track for the album Hours that was released over the summer. You can pick it up at their Bandcamp page

Slumberland Records has put up the preorders for the new Veronica Falls single called Broken Toy and a limited 12” from Girls Names called The Next Life.

Here we go...

This is the second solo album from Frankie Rose. It was released this past week (Sept 24, 2013). It is released on Fat Possum Records this time. It sounds very similar to Interstellar on first listen but after multiple listens since then it has changed into something much more. There has been no physical singles released from the album as of yet but one digital single that I am aware of for sure. The cover doesn’t have a title written on it at all. My vinyl copy has a sticker on the shrink wrap with her name and the title of the album. I was hoping for a colored record but no such luck with this release. The album has similar tonality as Interstellar but is completely different from the first release. It is not quite as space sounding as Interstellar. I think it is still up there but just high in the sky instead of in space this time.

There are some very cool songs on this album but first the single, Sorrow. The song is very beautiful with backing strings and simple guitar riff with lots of echo on it. There is also a acoustic guitar that flows in and out of the song giving a nice punch to the song. The drums seem to be channeling the new wave 80s sounds that I like so much too. It is a great song that I would recommend to anyone, really, anyone!

The overall arch of the album is very solid. She came back to earth a bit more with this album sound wise. I really like the track called The Depths. It relies on the bass guitar for the whole song. The drums are very simple and rely mainly on the bass drum to keep the beat. The vocals are more floaty, like clouds, at times more like rain clouds but still fluffy clouds. There is also some synth sounds floating around in the backgrounds to give it a light pink sky line at the same time. It is a very cool song, at times it reminds me of New Order.

The track Cliffs As High is a slow song that leads with light flowing vocals with lots of reverb and echo. There is something very special about this song mainly in its simplicity. There is a very slow playing piano along with strings and synth parts. It is as if I am watching someone fall from a cliff but falling so very slowly to a gentile sleep. It is a very sweet song indeed.

The following track, Minor Times, is a more up beat track that reminds me of something from the previous album but at the same time new and unique from the previous album. It has the cool 80s new wave feel too. It is another great track on this album that seems familiar but new and different at the same time.

I am really liking this album a lot. I think that I like it as much as I liked Intersteller.

This is the eighth album from Saves The Day. It was funded through Pledge Music. Pledge Music is run similar to Kickstarter but designed for music only. I got in early and got the vinyl. I have not seen it arrive at my door but was able to get the download as soon as it was made available. Fans have already dubbed this album “The Orange Album” or “Grapefruit” because of the cover graphic. It is really a refreshing album given that the last three were locked in as a three part theme. It is like the group has had a weight lifted from them. It shows in the music with fun rhythmic bounce that makes the album fun to listen to.

There have been no singles released from the album that I am aware of but there are some great tracks on the album that should be released as such. The opener, Remember, is a great punk song that remembers what it was like to be a punk kid. The repetitive bent notes on the electric guitar are great fun in the verse. The contrast in the chorus is straight plucked notes. It has a good beat and the song is quite fun.

I have come to adore the song Beyond All Of Time. It is a sweet love song that could reference any couple reminiscing about their past. I could easily put me and my wife in the story. It really pulls at my heart when he sings, “I love you beyond all of time, together forever tonight, I’ll always be right by your side tonight.”

Xenophobic Blind Left Hook is a strange song for me but the music is spot on. I could only assume that it is a story of a fight that was about to happen but ended with a sucker punch or worse. There is then a request for someone to call the cops and their friend has a broken nose. It is an interesting story but the music is so much more interesting really.

Another song that I really like from the album is called Ring Pop. It is another pop punk track that is so fun and bouncy that it is hard to avoid really. The lyrics talk about falling in love again. The difference with this one is that the couple is broke and so they gave each other ring pops instead of engagement rings. It is cute really.

The last song on the album is called Stand In The Stars. The song reminds me of something from The Refreshments first album. It has that sound that reminds me of country but the beat is too happy and bouncy to be anything that resembles country music. It really is a lot of fun/happy go lucky.

This is really a great album even if you are not into emo music.

This is a limited edition 7” record that came bundled with the new album, Paracosm. Both tracks that are on this single are non-album tracks. Some bundles of the singles had download cards and some didn’t. The copy that I got didn’t. I am not mad about this because I have the ability to record vinyl directly to MP3 or what ever. The B side track had some vinyl noise. I was mad about this at first but have come to like the sound. It gives the song an organic feel with the record noise. Wikipedia doesn’t make mention of the bonus 7” but Discogs does.

The first track, Pull You down, is a slower track like most of his work but the song still has a bit of bounce to it in the bass line. The vocals are still kind of slack jawed but sleepy at the same time. It doesn’t have the sounds of the forest like most of the album it is associated with though. This is probably why it was not included with the album. It is good music but didn’t fit with the album.

The b side track, Exit, is very atmospheric and light. There is a guitar part in there that is clean sounding with a bit of echo on it. The synth part boosts it up into the atmospheric realms. The song is very short with no vocal part. It probably would have been the last track on the album if it were to have been on the album.

A couple of very good songs that could have easily been on the album. Both tracks can be heard over here.

This is the third in a series of non album singles from Beck. It was released as a download and as a double vinyl. From what I have seen the download is just the one song. The vinyl has the original mix, an instrumental version, a Georgic Mix and parts 1 & 2 of the Extended Version. This song is very different from the previous two singles that were released. There is a lot of xylophone sounds that are going through all the versions of this track. It gets a bit distracting over time, especially when there is about an hour of the same song over two records. You really have to be in the mood to want to listen to an hour of the same song. There are really cool parts of the songs but it gets so repetitive after a while. The extended version is twenty-five minutes on its own. I am happy to have all three of these singles but that is a lot of music and time spent listening to the music for three songs. It makes me wonder if this is somehow an extension of the song reader stuff that he put out last year.

I am excited for the next album or two that will probably be out early next year, especially if this is the type of stuff that will be on them.

That is all I have for this week...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 39

Black Hearted Brother have a new page for the band. Check it out.

Beck has released a third single called Gimmie. You can hear and buy it at the Beck web page.

I have gotten in the new Frankie Rose record.

If you are into Saves The Day, the new album has been made available to those who gave to support the album at Pledge Music.

Here we go...

This is the first Weekend only release. It was put out on Mexican Summer Records. There were only 500 10” records made and they were hand numbered. It does come with a download code but it has been a few years since its release so the code is probably not active, mine wasn’t. It is available as a download as well. It was released in January of 2010. I got into the group with their release of the Red EP so I missed out on this one when it was new. I waited to find a copy at a good price. I finally found one still sealed for less than 20 bucks. I was very excited about it when I found a copy. I recently went to see them at The 7th St Entry ( ). They played the B-side to this record as the last song. It was very cool indeed!

The A side of the record is called All-American. It is mostly high pitched noise. The drum beat is cool. That is one of my favorite drum beats and I have used something similar on some of my own songs. The lyrics are unintelligible but I have always liked the tone of his voice. I do like that one of the electric guitars being played doesn’t have any processing done to it. It is an odd feel for the group that sits well.

The B side track is called Youth Haunts. It starts off with guitar that is very noisy with a good riff. The rest of the band kicks in pretty heavy sounding. The drums are mainly on the low toms giving the track a grounded feel. The song uses song very cool guitar distortions and feedback sounds. The lyrics are pretty unintelligible with this one too. It sounded so much better played live though.

This is the second release for the group on Slumberland Records. It was in support of the first album, Sports. It was released on neon yellow vinyl with a download code. The version on the single is labeled as Radio Edit. This is the single that I brought with me to get the band to sign.

Slumberland has this up on the page for the single, “As one of the highlights of Sports, "End Times" is power-pop as interpreted by "Feed Me With Your Kiss"-era MBV, an amazing mix of melody and racket that perfectly encapsulates what Weekend are about. Driven by relentless drums and a pummeling bass line, it could the most straightforwardly pop track on the album, if you ignore the insane, shredding feedback guitar that bursts through on each chorus, turning what was loud and raucous into LOUD mayhem. And it sports a melody most pop bands would kill for -- amazing stuff. Remixed and remastered especially for this single, it's a beast. On the flip side, LA duo Speculator remix album opener "Coma Summer" into a hypnotic Kraut-inflected daydream -- trippy, motorik and totally compelling.”

The A side track, End Times, does have a driving bass line with drums that match the song. It is pop geniusness with extra noise. It is one of my favorite songs from the album Sports.

The B side is a muted version of Coma Summer. It is still noisy but doesn’t pierce the ears as much. This track just sort of drones on and on and never stops. When I went to the concert the current bassist told me that he remixed this track. 


This is three separate tracks that were never included on any kind of physical copy. They are available on the bands Bandcamp web page at a pay what you want scale. I was interested in what they had for music since they have a new release coming out on Graveface Records next month. I looked at their web page with a few live recordings and previews for the new album. I found their band camp page after that with these three songs on there. Their style is slow moving noisy dream pop. All three tracks are the same slow moving sound it can be relaxing or it can cause undue tension. It kind of depends on what your use to.

Ahhh is a very noisy track but still slow and dreamy. The song is about waking up in the morning based on the lyrics that are up on the songs bandcamp page. I really like the Ahhhs that happen in the song. This is what makes the song  for me.

The second song, Fukitol, talks about watching the stars and the black of the sky turn to morning and thus the stars fade away to the morning sky. It is another very dreamy track. I don’t know how Fukitol applies to the song though other than not caring about what happens in the world around you any longer. For those of you who don’t know, the fictitious “drug” Fukitol is what you take when you are depressed, overworked, feel unappreciated amongst other problems.

The third track that the group has put out, Sunday Is Monday At Midnight, is probably the more catchier track of the set. The way that the lead singer sings the title of the song is absolute perfection. I can’t get over the beautiful soft airy tones when she sings.

Get these three songs as soon as you can or just listen to them on the Bandcamp page, it’s free!

Man or Astro-Man? - Electrostatic Sensitive Device
This is a 7” EP released on November 5, 2013. Chunklet put this out in limited quantities. It was bundled with the book Touchable Sound put out by Soundscreen Design. There were only 300 copies made available. The record came in a plain white sleeve with white center labels that were hand stamped in black ink. They were then placed in a static shield bag with a square circuit board as a stiffener. The boards were donated by Diego Kirsch. Starcrunch, lead guitarist/vocalist of Man or Astro-Man?, hand cut each circuit board. The bag was sealed with a sticker that was dated and numbered.

Earth Station Radio can be found on the Jabberjaw No. 6 compilation. The CD is easy enough to find but the 7” compilation came in both colored vinyl and black I believe. I have the CD version of the Jabberjaw comp. If I found a copy of the colored vinyl at a store I would be interested but I am not going out of my mind to get a copy. The song has some cool surf sounds backed with some space waves and movie clips. It is a very good track and I am happy to have a copy.

The b side track is called Updated Theme To Supercar. This track can also be found on the All Punk Rods compilation from Gearhead/Lookout! Records. This track is a peppier track and demands the attention of the listener to hear all the good parts. It is such a short song that you really need to listen to it to understand the song. It is more punk without words I think.

I like this short EP a lot and am also glad that I have the book that goes with it. There is some very cool information about the 7” record along with a catalog of some of the more unique 7” records that were made in history.

Thanks again to Man Or Astro-Man? as nauseam for the information on this release.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 38

Preorders for the new Black Hearted Brother album has gone up at Slumberland Records. It will be a double vinyl on white. The cover is absolutely beautiful.

I have also heard that Girls Names will have a remix EP out soon. More on that when I have more info.

The Stargazer Lilies album called We Are The Dreamers is also up for preorder at Graveface Records. The members club will be on clear with lavender haze. First retail pressing will be on red-violet. I saw pictures and the members club version is very pretty the red-violet, not so much. Not sure I will be getting this one. The title track single is very pretty though.

I am going to try to get tickets to see My Bloody Valentine. If I do it will probably be the last concert I go to this year.

On with the show...

This is the first release from Washed Out. It was released on Sub Pop records. It was released in July of 2011. I recently made a multi-purchase of Washed out records and this was one of the records in the set. The copy that I got was on white vinyl but it was also pressed on a red-orange and blue. The cover is embossed with the title but the title is not printed on the cover. Because of this the shrink wrap has a clear sticker with the album title printed in black at the top corner. This album as a slightly different feel to it than the new album does. I think it is more synth where as the new album has a more organic feel to it.

I thought that this was interesting about the cover, from Wikipedia, “The cover for Within and Without uses an image that appeared in the May 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, accompanying an article titled "Is This the Most Satisfying Sex Position?". Washed Out told Exclaim!, "We licensed the image from the photographer Martien Mulder from New York. I had seen the image in this avant-garde photography magazine while we were on tour in Australia and it was just an ad for one of her exhibitions. I loved it for a lot of different reasons. When we licensed it we thought we had exclusive rights to it and then a month later she licensed it again to Cosmopolitan." He also stated he was disappointed to see the photo used in an article on sexual positions, "mainly because it undercut all of my ideas about what the image represented and what the album represented", as he felt "it wasn't sexual at all and it wasn't supposed to be provocative."”

There were two singles released from the album. The first is called Eyes Be Closed. The song has an 80s new wave sound that makes me feel good inside. It kind of reminds me of the song Chains Of Love by Erasure. It is more that it uses the same chords more than the sounds are the same, also that the vocals sound somewhat the same tonally. It is a very good song that I could easily fall asleep to.

The second single from the album is called Armor Fati. This track is slightly more up beat than the first single but not by much. This track also has that 80s new wave sound. I think that is why I like this album so much. All of the tracks remind me of that sound. It makes me feel warm inside like when I was a kid in summer time where I was free to do what I wanted and there always seemed to be music on weather I was listening to my radio head phones or my stereo in my room.

This is another great album that I am very happy to have stumbled on.

This is the first album from Baltimora. It was released in early September of 1985. Jimmy McShane supposedly performed the lead vocals, although there is some controversy surrounding who the actual singer is, while the songs were written by Maurizio Bassi and Naimy Hackett. It is a short album with only six songs on the standard version. There were other versions released with extra tracks, including a re-release in 1993 with extra remixed versions of some of the songs.

There were three singles released from the album, four if you count the track Juke Box Boy that was only found on the Canadian version and the 93 re-release. The first single from the album is called Tarzan Boy. It is a fun new wave song that used the Tarzan call as a melodic line in the chorus. This track was not one that I had recorded on my radio recorded cassettes but was a song that I remembered with fondness none the less. It is not a fast song but has a good beat and you can understand the lyrics well enough that one could sing along.

The second single from the album is called Woody Boogie. I had never heard this song on the radio before. When I did hear it for the first time on the record it seemed like a fun song that should have been a single. In doing the research I found that it was released but did not get the respect that it deserved. There is some tongue in cheek sounds that are reminiscent of the woody woodpecker sound which just makes me giggle all the more at the song. It is a pop masterpiece for its time. I recommend that everyone listen to it at least once.

The third single from the album is the title track, LivingIn The Background. This is a slower song that just didn’t work as a single. The song is very dated and I was not impressed with it when I heard it for the first time listening to the album.

The last single, Juke Box Boy, was not included on the standard album, which is what I have, so I can not talk about it here. 

This is a single from the first album from Salt-N-Pepa, Hot, Cool & Vicious. It is the first release with the song Push It. This single was released in 1987. And was the third single released from the album. The album Hot, Cool & Vicious was later re-released with the song Push It added as it was the only single that charted from the album in the US. That doesn’t include the R&B or the Dance charts though.

The A side of the record has three different versions of Tramp. There is the remix, the instrumental and the acapalla versions. It was the B side that I really cared about with this single though. The B side has Push It and an instrumental version of Push It. There is also a track called Idle Chatter. I had been looking for a physical version of Push It for years now and finally found a copy here with this single. I had recorded various versions of Push It from the radio in my recording days. A couple of years ago I listened to all of my radio recording tapes and made a list of the songs that I really liked from them. I then didn’t have a reason to keep the tapes but promised myself that I would look for the albums that these songs came from to flesh out my 80s collection. So far it has been a slow process but still effective. I don’t think there are more than 15 albums that I am still looking for.

This is the first album from Volcano Choir. It was released on JagJaguar in September of 2009. I had not heard about this group until their second album was about to be released. I bought this album with their first album from the record company. This album was released after Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) had released For Emma, Forever Ago. There was so much popularity put on Bon Iver that this alternate project was completely missed by me. It is a collaboration between Justin and the band Collections of Colonies of Bees (COCOB). COCOB is an instrumental group. The addition of Justin Vernon’s vocals is mainly an addition of sound, tone and textures. There are coherent words being sung but they are, for the most part, inconsequential in the songs. There was no single released that I know of for this album. If you are into the new album then you may want to check out some of the background to the new album. It is an interesting perspective into the group.

That is all I have for now...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 37.5

Co-headliners Disappears and Weekend with opening act Teenage Stranglers at The 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis MN on 9-7-2013.

I took my father-in-law to see this concert. I bought the tickets on the day that they went on sale a month prior to the show. I had not ever heard anything from Disappears or the opener, Teenage Strangler. I don’t think that the show was sold out considering it was not as packed as the last concert I had been to at The Entry that was sold out.

We showed up at the venue at a point where I thought we would be late for the opening act. I realized that I was wrong when I could hear The Smiths playing on the speakers at the front door. The show had not yet started. I looked at my clock and saw that we still had about twenty minutes to go. I could see that it was nearly empty inside as we walked in. We looked at the merch table for a minute or two before we sat down. I brought with the sleeve for the second single that they had released with Slumberland Records for them to sign after their set. I saw that they were still selling that single along with the album it is a part of. They were also selling CD copies of the Red EP and copies of the latest album too. There were also two different prints of t-shirts. There was a white one with the new album cover graphic and a black one with the new Weekend logo. I kind of wanted the black t-shirt but I didn’t bring any cash with me to get it. I knew that I already had all of the music that they had on the table so I wasn’t really hurt that I didn’t get anything. We took our seats, a pair of stools at the half wall dividing line next to the stairs down to the dance floor and waited for the show to start.

The first band took the stage at about 9:10. The groups name was Teenage Strangler as I read it from the record that they had at the merch booth. I noticed that there were a lot of older folks around listening to the music. I thought that was slightly odd as the concert was for a couple of noise rock groups. As I listened to a few conversations, it is hard not to, I realized that most of these people were friends or family of the group. I thought that it was cute that all their friends and family were there to support them. They are a two piece group that consisted of a male vocalist/guitarist and a standup drummer (a guy too). The drums consisted of a big floor tom, a snare drum and a cymbal. The guitarist had a tendency to play the same riff with a different pedal each time during each of the songs they played. It made for some confusing music. They obviously needed another guitarist to satisfy his needs. I could tell he had desires for the group but couldn’t do it all himself. I hope that he gets what he needs for the group sooner than later. His vocals were good but, I think, needed to be more expressive, to keep my attention. It seemed like most of the friends and family left after their set was over. There was not many people that came in to refill those empty spaces though.

At about 10:00 Weekend took the stage. I was actually hoping that they would play last because that means that they could have done an encore or had a longer set but they were on second, not that big of a deal really. I wish that I had recorded this set. The songs that were played from their first album sounded so much better live than they do on the record. I actually started to but I wasn’t happy with when I had started to record so I abandoned the recording for text notes instead. They had a smoke machine setup with blue and green lighting. I made a really cool effect with the smoke on stage considering the sound of the group it fit in really well.

There were four members in the band playing. There was a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist and the vocalist/guitarist. There was some real magic being made between this group that night. The set started off with the guitarist playing the opening to Mirror. I always thought that there was a keyboardist in the group somewhere that never got mentioned in the credits. I was super surprised to find out that those amazing synth sounds were made by the second guitarist on his guitar. It was absolutely beautiful! I know the words to the song and sung along to it as it was played. It didn’t seem like anyone else knew the words though. I also sang along with most of the second song July but I don’t know all of the words for that song yet.

The first three songs that were played were also the first three songs from the album in the same order. The next two songs were from the previous EP called Red. I knew the fifth song, Hazel, well enough that I could sing along to that as well. This was actually the song that got me into them.

In between a few of the songs they talked very little. They did mention that this was the first time that they had been through the twin cities. I didn’t think anything of it as we are not like New York or LA, the big hitters that will make a band like this some serious money. I was happy that they had finally made it out to play here though and would love it if they could keep coming out on tours. I thought that they played a very solid set. Everything sounded as good or better than what I had copies of at home. I think that the best songs that were played were Mirror, Hazel and After Image. The song After Image actually surprised me. It was a track that I had paid no mind to from their first album but hearing it live gave it new life for me.

After they were done I ran up to the stage and took a look at what they were using for equipment and talked to the guys for a couple of minutes but tried to stay out of their way as they were getting their stuff off the stage for the next set. I think that I was the only person running around trying to get their signatures. I ran into the bassist first. I asked for his signature and he gladly did so along with a quick story. He told me that he wasn’t a part of the group for the End Times single that I had in my hands but that he was the guy that did the remix for the B side track. I thought that was kind of cool, relevant on both levels. I then found the lead singer working at the merch table and got his signature. Later through the set of Disappears, the second guitarist was at the merch table. I got his signature then. We waited around quite a bit for the drummer to appear. I thought that he would have been the easiest to find as he was wearing a black shirt with a skeleton graphic on the front. I was wrong as he put on a jacket over the shirt after the set. This made it a little bit more difficult to find him. I kept my eyes open though and half way through the set of Disappears I found him standing in front of the sound booth. I got him to sign it, shook his hand and said thanks for playing. He was pleased as punch.

After getting all four of their signatures I was happy to get out of there. I had decided that Disappears was not nearly as good as Weekend after hearing some of their songs on the hunt for the signatures of Weekend band members. It was about midnight when we got out of the venue. It was probably the last song from Disappears too. I was also tired.

Both the Teenage Strangler and Disappears didn’t seem as solid as Weekend did. It may have been that I know Weekends songs or it could have been that the other two bands had not played as a group as long as or gelled as well as Weekend has. Either way it was a great concert that I am glad that I went to see. I even got my father-in-law interested in getting some releases from Weekend. I will just have to point him over to Slumberland Records

Thanks to The 7th Street Entry for having these three groups. Thanks also to the three groups for being here. Thanks especially to Weekend for making my night so magical! Come back again soon, I will be there if you will.

Weekend Set list:
Sweet Sixteen
End Times
After Image
Celebration, FL
Youth Haunts

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 37

Not much new recently. I will probably have more from Volcano Choir and from Washed Out next week. I am waiting for preorders to go up at Slumberland Records for the new Veronica Falls single and Black Hearted Brother featuring the talents of Neil Halstead (Slowdive , Mojave 3), Mark Van Hoen (Seefeel, Locust, Scala) and Nick Holton (Coley Park).

I will be going to see Weekend play live this Saturday at The 7th Street Entry. I am very excited for that!

Here we go...

This is the eighth album from Nine Inch Nails (NIN). It was released in the first week of September of 2013. It is the first album since the self released album called The Slip and the first release on Columbia Records. It is also the first since the hiatus. The title refers to the cuts made to test the sharpness of a blade before attempting suicide or self-harming. The album has been made available in two different masters. There is the standard version. This version has been put on all the physical versions and download store versions. There is also an audiophile version that you can get from the NIN store if you ordered the album with the NIN web site. I have not yet heard the audiophile version yet. I am downloading it as I type this. Each version of the album has its own cover. This means that the vinyl cover is different from the deluxe CD cover and the standard CD cover. Each cover has a title for the graphic. In order of the graphic above: The deluxe CD is called Cargo in the Blood. The digital version doesn’t have a title that I have seen. The standard CD is called Time and Again.  The Japanese version is also called Time and Again but the picture is turned vertically and is a close up of a different section of the US version. The vinyl art is called Other Murmurs. I promised myself a long time ago, about 20 years ago actually, that I would never buy anything from NIN on vinyl. I have stuck to that 100% so far, including this album. That did not exclude deluxe CD versions though. The deluxe version comes with an extra CD with three additional remix tracks.

There have been three singles released from the album so far. I have talked about each of them in a previous post, Vol. 4 Episode 34. Here is what I had to say about them, “Came Back Haunted is the first single from the new album Hesitation Marks. It was released early in June of 2013. It is though that the track is an acknowledgement of Reznor’s absence. The song has classic synth sounds along with an electronic bassline and some really cool guitar sounds during the breakdown. Some would say that this is typical NIN style. Although this is true for the most part, it still is a progression and is different from past music. I like the track, but then I like most music from NIN.

Copy Of A was the second single released. It was released in the early part of August, 2013. It was given away on for free as an MP3 and if you ordered the album from the store you could get it free that way too. The Amazon MP3 was at 254 kbps where as the NIN version was MP3 at 320 or a better format such as FLAC.
The track itself is very different from Came Back Haunted. The song features the use of the Swarmatron, an analogue synthesizer, which was most notably used by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the soundtrack of the film, The Social Network. Lyricly the song can be interpreted as trying to find ones identity in a sea of similarity. It could also be interpreted as nothing can stand out in a world where exact duplicates can exist without thought or understanding of where it came from in the first place.

Everything was just released this week on NPR and as a free download if you preordered the new album from This track is very different from anything that NIN has put out in the past. It is more rock than industrial and really fits in with the current indie/DIY music that has been put out in the underground music over the past year. This track makes me want to hear the new album even more than the first two singles that have been put out!”

Other tracks that I like from this album are Satellite and Running. Satellite has a cool beat that reminds me of something that a rap artist would put together. The lyrics are even more spoken that sung. This is a different direction for NIN. Running has an interesting beat as well. It reminds me of the noise that horses make as they are galloping. The song also gives a high tention feeling with the lyrics talking about, “I’m running out of places I can hide from this.” and, “They’re right behind us”

This is a good NIN album that shows a new direction and the classic NIN sounds. It is a new facet for NIN that I have not heard before. I like it.

This is their first full length album. It has been co-released on Slumberland Records and Fortuna Pop! It was also released in the first week of December of 2013. It is a shinny album with nods to many different styles of music including punk, psychedelic and shoegaze. Slumberland Records has this posted about the band, “We’re excited to announce the release of the debut album by thrilling Cardiff-based noisepop five-piece Joanna Gruesome. Brimming with irresistible pop melodies and spiked with dissonant fuzzy jangle, their songs are shot through with loud discordant feedback and super-fast, hardcore punk drumbeats. Kicking it against sexism and homophobia, nothing is off-limits, drawing inspiration from DIY scenes such as Riot Grrrl/noisepop/C86/K Records as well as post hardcore like Drive Like Jehu/Converge and the art rock of The Velvet Underground, Swirlies and My Bloody Valentine.” I have talked quite a bit about how great the group is over the past few months. I think this is where rock is going but it just hasn’t made it to the forefront of the music industry yet. This just means that people like you and I get to enjoy the underground sounds before it hits the mainstream. The recording for this album sounds so much better than their previous releases. This is because the songs were re-recorded on/with professional people and equipment. It sounds so much better than the other stuff I have from the group.

I have also talked about most of this album already as it has come up on their single and collaborations and the little known digital only EP. I had this to say about some of the songs, including the single Sugarcrush (from Vol. 4 Episode 35), “the new single, Sugarcrush, from the forth coming album is on this EP. That means that this song has been floating around for quite a while now. The song is fast and sweet punk with soft female vocals as I have talked about last week they sound kind of like Golden Grrrls. The video for the song, there is one, looks like it is all old personal footage from the 60s or 70s with the way that the footage looks. The song is fun and the video makes me feel nostalgic. I think it is perfect.

Madison is the second song on this EP. I think that it is probably just as good as Sugarcrush maybe even better with a perfect mix of noise and clean tones on the guitars. The music is pop meets shoegaze. It is a very cool idea and I hope that they get lots of attention for the music that they created for this upcoming album.”

And this from Vol. 4 Episode 34, “The A side track is called Do You Really Wanna Know Why YrStill In Love With Me? The song seems to be styled after what Golden Grrrls have done with their last record with both high pitched male and female vocals singing the same thing at the same time. There is a lot of high pitched guitar noise going on at the same time. It sort of makes it hard to listen to at any kind of loud volume. It is still a good song though.

The B side track is called Lemonade Grrrl. I am not sure if this is a reference to Golden Grrrls or not. The song is more of the same sound as on the A side really but with a different beat. This track relies more on the female vocals than the A side track does. I kind of like it this way.

Both songs are fast paced and exciting even with the noise. I wanted to hear what was in store for me before I got the new full length. Now that I have heard a taste of what is to come I am very excited.”

There was also a digital single called Secret Surprise that was released before the album was released. This song is very punk with what reminds me of The Runaways vocal style with high pitched guitar work. It is a fun track with cool punk sounds. This song is easy to get along with.

I think I will like this album a lot more than I do the Golden Grrrls album. It is a broader spectrum. I like both albums for what they are but I think I will listen to this one a bit more.

This is the second album from Mumford & Sons. It was released in late September of 2012. They were here in my home town yesterday (9-4-2013). This is part of what inspired me to get their second album, a year after its release. I am not a super fan of the group or the genre that they are a part of but it is good music and sometimes I am a bit slow on the uptake. The group came up with most of the songs while they were on tour in support of their first album, Sigh No More, in late 2010. They took their time perfecting the music to make sure that it was the best that they could do.

There were four singles released from this album. The first is called I Will Wait. The single was released as a limited numbered 7” record. The drums start of the track with the banjo. It is a heavy tom-tom sound that backs off with the vocal entrance. The banjo also changes to the guitar. The chorus is very minimalist with the vocals and a couple plucked notes. There is something special about the track though. The chorus sings, “I will wait, I will Wait for you.” It comes off very powerful later in the song when the vocalist is nearly screaming the lines. The lines can easily be put on any situation making it an emotional idea.

The second song released as a single from the album is called Lover Of The Light. This is a slower song that uses the piano in addition to the usual instruments from the group. There are also horns in the background. It is a poignant song that seems to be about the belief in something or someone. It is a good song that tries to point one in the right direction.

The next single from the album is called Whispers In TheDark. The song seems to be about having an affair with someone that the singer did not have much interest in but then later found someone that he cared for. He shows that this kind of relationship has problems because it is hard to get out of an affair that is based only on sex and then have another relationship based on love. It is hard to have two different relationships in the first place. It is an interesting story and a good song.

The last single from the album is the title track for the album, Babel. The song is a forceful beat but is slow enough to sway to in a crowd. Lyricly the song is a personal view of the city of Bable. The city was powerful but God smote the city and spread the people across the planet. This is how the song goes but on a smaller scale and on a more personal level. It is another good song.

If your interested in the alt-country movement that has been moving through the indie music scene over the last few years or so then this may be something that you would be interested in. Me, I like the music because it is done very well but it is more for my family really. 

This is the second album from Washed Out. It was released in early August of 2013. It was released on Sub Pop Records. In essence the group is Ernest Greene. The music is electronic down tempo. If that doesn’t mean anything to you then it is slow electronic music that could easily put you to sleep if your not careful. There is something special about this music to me. I think it reminds me of a clearer version of what sigur ros has put out in the past. You can understand the lyrics at least better than the Hopelandic that Jonsi sings with and its electronic so everything is a clear tone. It is good music that makes me feel good. I got a package deal on their releases. I got, from Insound, this album on translucent maroon vinyl, the first full length album called Within and Without on white vinyl, the first EP called Life Of Leisure on standard black vinyl along with a 7” of tracks that were not on Paracosm. It was a very good deal considering.

There have been two singles released from the album so far. The first single is called It All Feels Right. It is the second track on the album but sounds better to me with the initial track opening into the single. The opening track is called Entrance. It is a slow build short track that flows directly into It All Feels Right. There is some very cool percussion that is used in the tracks opening that then flows into standard drums. There is also a sitar used throughout the track that adds flavor to the song. The vocals though could be called slack jawed to some extent. At times he sort of has that Rufus Wainwrite vocal style that can get annoying at times, over all though it kind of has a slight psychedelic sound to it. This is interesting because it is a mostly electronic album.

The second single from the album is called Don’t Give up. This track is just as down tempo as the rest of the album but seems to be a bit more up beat with a crowd talking in the background at times. The song has a cool 70s sound that makes me want to get some Steely Dan out.

Over all the album sort of runs together but this is a good thing if you’re trying to fall asleep at night or just trying to relax after a hard days work. It is good music but not something you’re going to want to listen to all the time, although, I can’t seem to get enough of it, sleeping or awake. 

That is all I have for now...