Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 16.5

Temples with opening acts Drowners & Two Harbors at First Avenue in Minneapolis MN on April 24th, 2014.

I preordered tickets to this concert just after they moved the venue to First Avenue. It had originally been scheduled for The Turf Club. The amount of people that attended the concert would have over filled the small venue of The Turf club. This is why they moved to a larger venue.

I took my father-in-law to see the show. We got there with more than enough time before the show started. We went to check out the merch booth, like I always do. There wasn’t much there. I was surprised. There were a few shirts and full length albums from each band on CD and vinyl. I guess I was disappointed that there weren’t any singles for sale. They are the easiest item to get a band to sign. Carrying around an album all night is so cumbersome in my opinion. I did like that the album from two harbors was pressed on white vinyl though. I didn’t buy anything that night simply because I didn’t know the openers and I already had the album from Temples.

The first opening group, Two Harbors, was a local group. I liked the groups sound. At some points it reminded me of Oasis, at the other points I was not interested. The problem was that the other sound that they had was pretty bland. They are on the right track but still need to flesh out their sound to make it their own. I hadn’t heard of the group before this concert. I am glad that I heard them and look forward to hearing more about them. I am sure that their music will show up on The Currents Local Show. The album that they released, that was at the merch booth, was also special released for RSD 2014 and the group played at both The Electric Fetus and the new record store called Barely Brothers Records.

The second opener is called Drowners. I liked the sound of the group. It reminded me of The Strokes mostly. They all seemed to have that fun sound during that time. What I did not like and found completely disgusting was that the second guitarist had a pension for saving up his spit and making a big fountain happen. Personally, I don’t want to be spit on and if I was a part of the following act I wouldn’t want my equipment spit on either. I enjoyed the music but that was such a gross distraction. I also watched a video that the band put together and there was a shot of him doing this in the video. It was cut so that you couldn’t see the spit flying in the air but I could tell, after seeing the concert, that he was spitting in the air. He must think that this is something cool to do and does it at every concert. What I did like was how animated that the lead singer was. He was the funnest part of the show. He could sing well, play a lot of the lead parts in the songs and had so much fun playing the music. I thought it was great when he was head banging to his own music while playing. He was the highlight of their set for sure.

The headliners, Temples, were not much in the way of flash but played the music in a live setting as well as possible to match the studio setting. I always like it when a band can make the sound of the studio in a live setting. It shows that they are not lying to their fans. I thought it was interesting that they were so surprised at the amount of people at the show. At one point, early in the show, the lead singer, James Bagshaw, said that they were, "Playing to a bigger crowd than we'd get in Liverpool.” Then he said, “We should move here." The crowd loved that remark and a nice bond was created because of that. The group didn’t have much to say after that but played some amazing music still. As I had mentioned in my previous posts about the group, They have a trippy 60s era sound to their music. I have likened them to both Sabbath and T Rex in those earlier posts. Everybody seemed to be dressed down except for Bagshaw. He was dressed in black with a jacket that had mirror ball sequins on it. It was very queue and drew attention to him through most of the night.

The sampled clapping that starts off A Question Isn’t Answered got the crowd moving. The lead singer tried to get the crowd to clap along but they didn’t really pick it up at all. I think the problem was that most people had drinks in their hands making it hard to clap at all. James made an off hand comment about, “I’ll just clap alone then.” I thought it was kind of a disappointment but the song still went off with out a hitch.

They did play a couple of B sides too. I always like it when groups can play their B side tracks. To me, it means that they like all of their songs not just the ones on the regular albums. I think that their B sides are just as good as the regular songs anyway. I think all of their songs have pretty and unique melodies that stick in your head. This is a good thing since the music is so beautiful. I can’t recommend going to see them or getting their new album enough. This is some of the best music that I have heard in a while.

Temples set list:
Colours To Life
Sun Structures
A Question Isn’t Answered
Move With The Season
Keep In The Dark
Sand Dance

Shelter Song

I am sorry about the sad quality of the pictures, I am not the best photographer.
If you want a different perspective check out what City Pages had to say on the concert.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 16

I am going to see Temples tonight so I am posting this a day in advance and will post a concert review tomorrow.

The Ar-Kaics are on tour. They are not coming to my state but are on a very short east coast tour. Look them up if you are interested.

The Ar-Kaics single being put out by Hidden Volume will be up for sale next month.

The Ar-Kaics single being put out by Steady Sounds is up for purchase at their web page.

K Records is rereleasing two Bikini Kill records. I am interested in one of them but I may not be able to get a copy. It depends on the timing.

And now, on to RSD 2014 part 2...

This is a special release for Record Store Day 2014. It was released on vinyl in clear or black. I don’t think that there was any label on the record shrink wrap stating that it was clear or not. I did not however get a clear copy. I am a little disappointed about this but am still happy to have a copy. Discogs reports 1000 of each color but I have a feeling that a limited number of that 1000 were the clear versions. Other fans of the group have dubbed this version of the album the punk album. After listening and comparing the two versions of the album I have come up with my own opinion of the sound on this new demo version of Pythons. Personally, I think that the sound on this demo version just sounds different. More than anything the production values have bee stripped away leaving the raw original creative values that the group came up with. I don’t think this will get listened to nearly as much as the version with the production values applied. Both albums have their merits but I like well produced albums.

I had this to say about the original release for Pythons back in Vol. 4 Episode 23, “This is the second full length album from indie rock group Surfer Blood. It was released this past week (June 2013). It is a short album, clocking in at just over a half an hour. It is also a very good album. I have been listening to it over and over for the past few days. They have really continued where Tarot Classics left off two years ago. The changes on this album are subtle but noticeable. The inclusion of screams in a few tracks and A bit more edgy grit in the guitars is specifically what I saw different than what they have done in the past. I actually like it a lot. The album was not available in any kind of colored vinyl and there was a CD included with the vinyl instead of a download. I was disappointed that there was not a color option but the CD was an added bonus. This is the groups first time on a major label if you can call Sire, owned by Warner Bros., a major label now.

The first single released from the album is called DemonDance. This single was put out as a 7” three colored record for Record Store Day 2013. I wanted to get it but it was one of the two that I couldn’t get a hold of on the day. I guess I wasn’t too disappointed about that as both the A and B sides were from this album. The song starts out with a nice clean electric guitar sound and a soaring high pitched distorted guitar sound. The organ sound kicks in at the start of the first chorus and sounds great floating in the background. I was very surprised when at the second half of the song after the breakdown there was an addition of screaming/growling that sort of works for the song. It is a new facet to the groups’ bag of tricks that I like.

I am not sure if Weird Shapes will be released as a single or not but it was up on the groups web page in the beginning of this year to preview. The song starts off with a multi-layered guitar with drums backing. As the rest of the song kicks in it starts to remind me right away of the song Miranda from 2011’s EP Tarot Classics. I think what is really different about this one is the addition of the screams. It is a really cool way to differentiate that this is a new way of music for the group even with the smooth Ooos. It is a cool way to showcase both sides of the group in one song.

This album is really great and I think that everyone should give it a shot. It will only take out a half hour of your day and you won’t be disappointed.”

This is a 12” single released for Record Store Day 2014 (April 19th). I was very excited to find that this was being released. I was also disappointed to find that it was just remixes though. I wish that there would have been at lease one B side included in the set of recordings. The single was pressed on black vinyl with 4750 units pressed. I thought that it would have been cool if they had pressed it on clear pink vinyl because of the color scheme used on the cover. They didn’t and I guess I am not the designer for the record either.

I had this to say about this single when the album was released from Vol. 5 Episode 3, “The first single, Holding On For life, has a good beat. This was really expected though with Danger Mouse doing the programming. The bass guitar has a very smooth picked style almost like that of Stereolab. There is also a synth sound that was used quite a bit in the 80s synth pop sound. It is really a sound that I have missed honestly. This is what needed to grow on me. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that sound to be brought back. I have realized that I missed that sound and am happy for it to have returned. The guitars are typical for this type of music right now. It is not watered down; it is just there to support the music.”

Members of the team that created this album were able to do remixes for this song and they were collected on this single. There are three of them. The first of these three were the Baio Remix. This remix reminds me of the beginning of the electronic movement in the mid 80s. It is a slower version of the song but works on so many levels. This version really elevates the 80s electronic sound that the song started with originally.

The second remix on the album is by Nick Zinner. This version focuses on the instruments instead of the samples in the song. It is a good version. There are still synth sounds but the overall focus is on the real instruments.

The third remix on the album comes from Doc McKinney & Ali Shaheed Muhammad. It is an interesting remix with studders in the vocals. This always makes me take a second look to see if there is something wrong with the record. Over all this track has a late 70s disco feel. But it is one of those disco tracks that you need to dig for to find. It doesn’t have a standard disco feel.

The last two tracks are; one, an instrumental version and two, an acapella version.

This is a Record Store Day 2014 release. It is a repressing of the first ever release for Joy Division with updated cover art. It is the 12” on black vinyl. There were quite a few pressings of this release, 7500 for the US and a grand total of 13500 for the world including the US pressings. I did think that it was pretty cool that they pressed it at 45 RPMs.

There are four tracks on this EP and none of them are the sound that I love from the group. They are the first tracks from the group and I can respect the sounds that they started with. The first track from the EP is called Warsaw. I have known about this song for a long time but have never heard it. The song is straight up punk. It is a very good track and sounds very raw. I like it and it will grow on me for sure.

The second track is called No Love Lost. This track has the standard sounds musically that I would expect from the group including the higher pitched bass playing and the effects on the drums. There is also the sparse guitar playing that the group is known for in the earlier work. The vocals are very different though with a somewhat hollow sound. Again, I like this track and it adds a new dimension to what I would have expected from them.

The next track, Leaders of Men, has a cool lower tone in the bass guitar that I don’t usually expect from the group. It is quite refreshing really. The drums are again processed with a slight echo effect on the snare particularly. This track somehow reminds me of The Clash. It is simple but very effective.

The last track is called Failures.  This is a faster track that goes back to the Punk sound from the first track. It is fast, fun and hardcore. It is also not what I would have expected from the group but it is fun and a new dimension again.

I still think that punk music is some of the best music to come from our music history. If you get this expecting a post punk sound you will be sadly mistaken. If you are after more punk music and find a copy of this then get it. You won’t be disappointed.

This is a 30th anniversary edition of the Ghostbusters theme released for Record Store Day 2014. It is, of course, a limited release, it is also numbered. I don not know how many were pressed though. I do know that it is pressed on glow-in-the-dark vinyl.  I did not get this for my self. This was actually a purchase for my son. He loves the movies and the cartoons so naturally he would want this release.

The release has the original track from the soundtrack and three other versions of the song. The original Ghostbusters theme was a big hit for Ray Parker Jr. The song is a number one hit. It works so well partially because it was designed to resemble an advertisement jingle. Jingles are designed to get into your head to make you want to buy whatever the product is. The song works for exactly that reason. The song also makes use of classic 80s sounds that are tried and true. I like the song and the movies. My family also likes the song and movies. Nobody complained when my son wanted to get this single. Actually we were all excited to get our hands on it.

The second track on the single is just an instrumental version of the song. The third track on the record is the extended version of the song. This version adds two minutes to the track extending it from 4:10 to 6:10 in time. The first minute and a half is a completely new opening to the track. The one thing I don’t like about this is that the song loses the opening guitar slide part. I really liked that part. There is also an extended breakdown in the middle of the song that fills out additional 30 seconds of the added two minutes. Is this extra two minutes needed in the song, no. But, it is cool to hear new parts to a song that weren’t there before.

The last version of the song is a dub remix. it is actually a stripped down version of the song. The saxophone stands out better and there is a cool reverse echo used on the vocals when they come in. It is mostly an acoustic version with the chorus lyrics only. I wish that they had included the lyrics more prominently. They are there but they are mixed so far to the back that, unless you are listening for them, you will never even hear them. Even when I do listen to them I only catch light whispers of them and not very often either.

It is good to have this song but the extras are almost unneeded.

That is all I have for now...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 15

As you all have read in my past notes sections, yesterday was Record Store Day 2014. I made my usual trek over to Down In The Valley in Golden Valley, MN. I take my family with every year (and Black Friday, so, twice a year really). It is a fun family outing and it maximizes the amount of music that we come home with. At the same time it limits my personal intake of music because I also need to buy records for each member of the family too. I am not mad about this though because it keeps the family involved in the festivities.

This year we decided to get there at 5 in the morning. We were surprised to find that there were six people in line already ahead of us, the first five of which apparently were there at midnight. The sixth person was someone that we had seen in past years and he usually did not have any interest in the items that we wanted. This was the case this year too. It was good to see him though. I am bad with names but have good recognition of faces. Sorry to all you folks in line that I remember from past years but can’t remember your names. The sixth person was looking for a couple of soundtracks and a heavy metal album I believe.

The five guys in the front of the line seemed to be all friends. When asked what they were getting, they all said that they were looking for some indie records but wouldn’t say what they were except for the Ghostbusters 10” record and the Chvrches record. I was a bit nervous about that since my son was looking for the Ghostbusters record too. I was also a little nervous that they were looking for indie records because that was most of my list. As it turned out there were enough Ghostbusters records available for us to get one too. I was also relieved that there idea of indie music was not that deep. It helped that they were shopping for them selves so they could only get three items each before they had to go to the end of the line. The reason that I take my family of four is so that we can maximize our purchase power. So, while they could only get three items each we got 12 items in one go (my wife, my 13 year old son, my one year old son, and myself). Yes, my one year old gets his own number, he gets the record from the Rockabye Baby! series when they are put out.

My 13 year old got a long board for Christmas this year and he has been itching to give it a try since he has gotten it. I told him he could bring it with for record store day because the snow should be melted off the parking lot by then. We had just gotten 12” the peek prior but it had been warm enough to melt off the roads and such during the week after. He got on it like it was a standard board and pushed around a bit. He got a little over confident after that and at one point didn’t move his feet and fell off. I went over to talk to him, advised him on how better to stand on the board after giving a few pushes and had him stretch out his hip so that it wouldn’t hurt and loosen up the muscles where he fell. Usually he would have stopped right there but he got back up and pushed on for another fifteen to twenty minutes. I was proud of him for getting back on.

My wife had to be to work early again this year so we couldn’t stay longer than to pick up the limited RSD14 items again this year. So we made our purchases and drove home so she could get to work. Maybe next year she will have the day off and we can stay longer to look at what else is in the store.

Those records that we picked up I am very excited to talk about. Some of the highlights are the Ghostbusters glow-in-the-dark 10" record, the LCD Soundsystem Last Goodbye box set and the Kanine Records compilation called Non Violent Femmes.

Here we go...

The Dodos – Truly Yours Session
This is a single released for RSD 2014. It is performed with the Magik * Magik Orchestra. This released was limited to 1000 units on translucent yellow vinyl (it looks more orange to me). The release came with a download code for the two tracks. The sleeve is just a fold over piece of tag board but it is housed in a plastic outer sleeve. There is a yellow promo sticker on that plastic sleeve stating information about the release. This is the first single that I have ever bought from The Dodos. The addition of the orchestra really helps the group sound fuller than it has in the past with the exception of the Time To Die album which added more color with the use of the Vibraphone.

The A side of the record has the track Substance. The song is played, it seems, the same way that it is on the record but the orchestra takes over for any of the background sounds on the song as it is a two piece group. The string add more emotion to the track. It is a small change that makes for big dramatics. It is truly a beautiful version of this song. I hope that radio stations are able to get their hands on these tracks and can play them.

The B side of this record is the track The Ocean. The original version of this one already had a limited string section. I think that having Magik * Magik play as a part of this track adds to the sound giving it even more dimension and definition to the track. It has become something better and bigger and again more emotional than the original.

Both tracks are absolutely beautiful and I wish that they could have recorded more tracks for a full length album. If that is what is in store great, if not that is too bad, a missed opportunity for sure.

This is an EP release for spoon. It was originally released on CD only in 2000. It was pressed on vinyl for the first time ever for RSD 2014. The A and B sides have the same content. I think that there may have been a screw up at the plant and it probably should have been cut at 45 RPM to spread the music out to two sides. There were only 700 units pressed of this record as per the RSD web page.

There are five tracks on the EP. The first of those is called Change My Life. I feel that this was just where they were getting into their groove. It is a little bit fuzzy but I can see where it lines up and starts to become clear as to where the group is going. It is really exciting when you sit and listen to the music from a groups past and can see where they are going and compare it to the current music that they have made. It is a drum noisy track but still very good.

The next track is called I Didn’t Come Here To Die. This track is bluesy in nature with the drums squaring up and the guitar riff very straight. This is a track that I would expect the group to have come up with. I really like that blues lick. I wish they would put out some more tracks with that style. It is a good groove. In the latter half of the song there is a floating additional guitar noise that is really loud but spacey. I dig that sound too. The song is too short for me it is such a cool riff.

The third track is called Jealousy. This one is kind of bland, like I have heard it before. It kind of reminds me too much of The Beatles. This may be what they were going for but it is too over the top for me. It is a good song but not one that I like too much.

The next track is called The Figures of Art. This one has a good rock and roll guitar sound. The drums are a bit more fuzzed out but it works well with the song. I guess it has a Rolling Stones kind of a feel to it. It is big and the guitar highs are right there in the front. I am not a big fan of the Rolling Stones but I like this track a lot.

The last track on the EP is called Chips and Dip. It is a slower track with a piano in the lead. It has an arena rock feel with the slow tempo and subdued instrumentals. It doesn’t have the chanting element that the greatest arena rockers have but it does support the crowd sway effect that others of that genre have. Again, not one of my favorites but it has its place.

This EP has some good tunes and I am happy that I have gotten a copy finaly.

This is a RSD 2014 release. It is pressed on pink and white swirl vinyl. It is a compilation put out by Kanine Records. I found out about this from the record companies twitter post about the release before the RSD list was even put out. The record company posted the information about the record early. There were a couple of bands that I recognized and wanted it for them. I already had the track from Joanna Gruesome but had to have it after I saw that Flowers had a track on it that I didn’t have. I didn’t know any of the other artists that are on the album. After giving the album a good listen, I am happy to say that this is a killer all female lead compilation album that I can’t live with out.

The first track is from Speedy Ortiz. It is called No Below (Ocean Shitty Demo). I recognize the group name but I can’t say that I have heard or liked anything from them. This still stands true as this is my least favorite track from the album. It is a simple track with acoustic and electric guitar and multitracked vocals. There are drums added in about half way through the track but incredibly simplified. It is a fair track, with its saving grace being the electric guitar.

The next track is from Flowers and is the reason that I bought the album. The Track is called All I Want Is You. I love the way that the vocals are so high pitched and have a sweet echo that aids the vocals in floating through the song. I like light and airy vocals that have echo on them. The music that accompanies these vocals just adds to elevating them. This song makes the album and I am very happy that I have this track.

Then something unexpected happens. The next track is from a group called Eternal Summers. It is called Goodnight Goodbye. They hit the surf chords and sounds that I love so much but keep it in the realm of shoegaze at the same time. I think that I have found my next favorite band. The vocals have that echo that I like so much and the guitar is so surf sounding with the reverb and echo on it. It is absolute perfection in my opinion. I will be looking into this group and you readers will be hearing more from me about them in the future for sure.

Joanna Gruesome contributed the track Secret Surprise which is from their debut album, Weird Sister, that was released last year (2013) on Slumberland Records. I talked about the album in Vol. 4 Episode 37. I had this to say about the track then, “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 still think this is a great track with great punk sounds. I can’t recommend this track or the album Weird Sister enough.

I like the song that precedes this track a lot. It is from a group called Beach Day and the song is called All My Friends Were Punks. I can identify with the claps that go through the song as it reminds me of The Go-Go’s music. It is like they took that sound and added some noise to it with guitar distortion. This track is right up there for me with the Flowers and Joanna Gruesome track, which are the reasons that I got this album in the first place.

There are eleven tracks on this album and all are very good. These are just the highlights from the album. If you can find it and you are into the girl group DIY sound I highly recommend getting this album.

This is the fifth vinyl pressing from Rockabye Baby! They have been putting out CDs for quite a long while but it is only in the past few years that they have been putting out records and only for RSD and BFRSD. This one is pressed on white vinyl. I don’t know how limited they are, I did get the first two that they pressed directly from the web site a year after they were released, but it is fun to get something for the baby on RSD. The renditions are perfect for children and have enough of the elements of the original songs that parents won’t get frustrated or bored listening to the music. I really like the way that the music is put together, especially since I know all of the music. It makes me feel good knowing that I can listen to the music and have my nostalgic feelings and the baby will have his first experiences with these artists that mean so much to me in a subdued format to prepare him for the real thing later in life. If you have kids, love music and want to pass that on to your kids, I have found that this is the perfect launching pad for that idea. This is a great release and I can’t wait for the next one!

This is basically a greatest hits album done in lullaby form. Some of my favorites are on this album including Heroes, Let’s Dance, Rebel Rebel, Fame and Young Americans. There are twelve tracks spanning from his start to about the mid 80s with Let’s Dance. I can’t wait to play this for my son.

There are still plenty more RSD albums in my back pocket to talk about and the Temples concert is this week. There will be a lot more to come…

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 14

There has been a second new Pains of Being Pure At Heart single called Eurydice.

Slumberland has also announced that it will press a 7” single for The Pains, Simple and Sure.You can preorder it now!

Slumberland has also announced that they will be releasing the new Gold-Bears album and a new album from The Proper Ornaments featuring James from Veronica Falls.

It also sounds like Steady Sounds Records will be putting out The Ar-kaics single early for RSD2014 in their shops. Jealous!

Sigur Ros have put out a new song for Game Of Thrones. They played the song on the show and you can download it from iTunes or your favorite MP3 etailer. it is called The Rains of Castamere.

Don’t forget, Record Store Day is tomorrow!!

Here we go...

This is an EP that Squarepusher wrote the music for and the Z-Machines who play the music. The Z-Machines are a Japanese trio of robots, a guitarist, a keyboardist and a drummer. The vinyl is supposed to be released in blue vinyl but I haven’t heard anything from the record company, Warp, about this specifically. There are five tracks on this EP. The style comes off as electronic jazz with the robotic way that the music is played. It is a very cool.

The first track is called Remote Amber. The song is sparse and reminds me of some of the music that I have from Dave Brubeck. It is interesting but I wouldn’t consider it great by any means.

The single if the next track called Sad Robot Goes Funny. This is the track that showcases what the trio can do. It is robust and engaging jazz music. There are no lyrics but the music is so good it doesn’t need it. I can’t recommend this track enough to those who are interested in rock, jazz or EDM. It is a really good track and I would recommend it to anyone interested in music really.

The third track is called World Three. The song gives a larger than life feel with the big organ sound, like it was a song in a cathedral being played back in the 1500s. This is another one that is good but not great. I like it but it is certainly not single worthy.

The next song is called Dissolver. There is a cool echo sound on the guitar part that drives this track on and on. The echo sound is just a smidge off for me but that may be what they wanted to accentuate that echo sound. It bothers me that it is off but at the same time it works well that it is off because you can hear the echo better. The drums come in at about the second half of the song and help the drive the song forward. This is a great song and I think is as good as the lead single.

The last track is called You Endless. It is a slower song and takes a bit to get it going on top of that. It is one of those good tracks to fall asleep to with the exception of the big pop sound on the bass drum hits. I want to see if this changes with the release of the record. These things usually get tamed down with a vinyl mix.

It is a pretty good EP. I am curious to know if there will be a full album or if this is just a one off project.

This is the first release from .Moneen. It was released on Smallman Records in 1999. This is another one of those groups that I had a single release from and wanted to get more from them but have never looked into it until now. I picked up this release for a reasonable price. It was only released as a CD.

The EP has four songs. The first is called How Many Other Girls Are There In The World Anyway? This song reminds me of something that Jimmy Eat World could have written. I don’t think that they are a knock off but similar sound any way. It is a good song but sounds dated.

The second song is called Wrath of The Donkey Remix. I think that it is not an actual remix but part of the name of the song. The song is just as good as the opening track but a little bit quieter. There is still plenty of distortion on the track but I think that because the vocals are partially whispered the song gives off a quieter feel. I like the style it reminds me of Trust Company.

The next track is called The Passing of America. This track is kind of the same sounding as the previous track. It is very even with out much dynamic range. I don’t think this is  a bad thing but it does give it that dated late 90s early 00s feel.

The last track is called This Year I’ve Had Enough. This is a quieter track than the previous two. It starts off with vocals and two clean sounding electric guitars. Drums and bass are added later in the song but don’t add to the volume of the track.

I like the EP for the nostalgic feel (it is 15 years old now). If your into that sound and are still looking for music from that era check them out.

This is the second single and the title track from the new upcoming album from The Black Keys. I actually like this track better than the first single. The both of these new singles have been released together in CD format. The CD single comes with a discount coupon for the new album. It is a unique little something that I have not seen. The new title track song, Turn Blue, has a really smooth blues feel that I like a lot. The drums and bass combine to make this awesome sounding drive. There is also this digital distortion that floats in the back ground that I really like. The guitar work on the track reminds me of the old school R&B sounds. This track really works well and I am excited for the new album based on these two new tracks.

This is a cover of the same song by The National. The band played the song on the second episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. This is the second time the group has appeared on a TV show in recent times. The first was on an episode of Simpsons last year. This new cover song comes off very sad but this is typical for the group. The song is simple and encompasses a pump organ and a squeeze box along with vocals from the artists. The pump organ bellows make some really cool wheezing ambient sounds which is unexpected but adds to the sadness of the song. The vocals are in both Hopelandic and English. All in all it is a great song but not one I will be listening to often as it is very sad sounding.

That is all I have for now. There will be more following RSD2014...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 13

The Ar-Kaics will have two new 7” records released this month. One on Steady Sounds Records. The songs Make It Mine, the A-side, and Movin On. The other on Hidden Volume Records. The songs Sick and Tired, The A-side, and Cut Me Down. They are also working on finalizing the details, artwork and such, for their full length album on Windian Records. There is also still slated another 7” on Windian Records. So much music that they are putting out. I am very excited for them.

Insound Has a special Death Bundle featuring their first album the new album, yet to be released, and a compilation album for just under 50 bucks after shipping.

The Silversun Pickups are making an apperance on Video Game High School next season. One of my favorite internet shows and one of my favorite bands, exciting.

Don't forget, Record Store Day 2014 (RSD 2014) is next weekend. Lots of very cool releases coming out next Saturday. I will be at my favorite record store early to get everything I want.

Here we go...

This album was released this past Tuesday (4/8/2014) officially. This is the groups sixth album not including the remix albums. The deluxe version comes with a copy of the Evil Voices EP. It has a gloss and foil cover sleeve. This version was also only pressed to 500 copies. I have been into this group since I first heard the single I Disappear from the album Wet From Birth. I still need to get the back catalog though. The album has the sound from the band that I have come to expect but seems to come off a little bit lighter. The album doesn’t seem to have that mind blowing single that Wet From Birth did or Faciinatiion did. That doesn’t make it any less of a great electronic rock album though.

Evil Voices is a vinyl only tour EP that was originally only pressed to 1000 copies. The EP was also included in the deluxe version of the Doom Abuse album. The EP is only four tracks long and two of the tracks are included on the Doom Abuse album.

Evil Voices is the first track on the EP and exists on the new album so I am calling it the first single from the album. It is the song that packs the most punch on the album with a super cool sawtooth synth bass open. The song kicks in after that and just keeps going. The chorus packs that same bass synth sound that just kicks my butt. This is probably my favorite song on the album. I also like the break down and the bass synth solo part with the high pitched noises that are created.

Unseen Hand being the other track that is included on the EP and on the album, I would consider to be the second single from the album. It is a fun poppy track that comes off a little lighter than Evil voices. It doesn’t really do much for me because I expect more heavy rock than a pop track with sci-fi tendencies. I could get use to this type of a track from them though.

The third single is called Help In The Head. This is the first album only track that the band has put out as a single. I kind of like this track, it has the hard rock feel that I like from the band. It also combines that pop feel that I like. The song also talks, as you can get from the title of the track, needing doctoral help for the psycho problems in ones head. it is an interesting way to say that you need a shrink or worse.

At first I wasn’t sure about this album but it is starting to grow on me. I would recommend this album along with anything from their back catalog to anyone who is looking for something new in the world of heavy metal or electronic.

This is a remix EP released back in February on Cold Spring records. It was released after the members of Coil had passed away. The EP features five remixes of four songs, two versions of Eraser. These remixes are pre-laptop generation. This release has been a long time in coming. Fans new of their existence but they were never released. I always thought that I had the track that was used in the movie Seven but apparently the version on this EP was the version. There is a colored vinyl version of this record but I was too late to get a copy. It was sold out by the time I had the money to get a copy. I also just got my copy in the mail this week, so there must have been a pressing problem for me to not have gotten the vinyl copy until now. The digital version has only four tracks but the CD and vinyl have five tracks. That extra track is called Eraser (Baby Alarm Remix). All five of the tracks are stripped down versions of the original with very cool atmospheric sounds in the back ground. It is exactly what I would have expected as I have many different remixes from the Nine Inch Nails (NIN) back catalog.

The first track, Gave Up (Open My Eyes), is the only track that really has a good beat to it. It is really unexpected for me as I would have expected that all of the songs would have a stripped down slower beat feel. I guess it starts on a high note and comes down from there.

The second track, Closer (Unrecalled), was supposed to be the version used in the movie Seven. I always thought that it was Closer(Precursor) but I guess I am wrong. Neither version was ever included on the soundtrack for the movie Seven but the song can be heard in the credits and in another part of the movie, I can’t remember where though.

The other tracks are good and remind me of when I listened to The Downward Spiral during the year after it was released but it is primarily nostalgic for me. The music isn’t new enough to take me somewhere else. They are remixes from back in the day so I wouldn’t really expect a mind blowing experience.

This is the seventh album from The B-52s. This album was released in spring of 2008. I gave this album a miss for a long time. I finally broke down and got a used copy for cheap. It had been 16 years between the release of this album and the previous album, Good Stuff. I have always liked the music that they have created and still can’t figure out why I didn’t get this one. I guess that the music just didn’t fall on my radar. I had heard the first single but maybe at the time was not impressed.

The first single from the album is called Funplex and is the title track. The song is about shopping at the mall really. It has a great poppy sound that I really like. I can’t figure out what it was that I didn’t like about this song. It hat the guitar sound that I have come to love about the group and the fun vocals from all three members. I don’t get what I didn’t like other than I am not a teen ager anymore. It is still a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by all ages.

The second single is called Juliet of The Spirits. This song is a bit slower and has a nice plunking bass line with drums that push the song along. The song reminds me of something that could have come from the 80s but with current sensibilities. It is a good song but not a great song.

The album is a log of pop fun and if you like what the group has done in the past you should like this album too. 

This is a 10” single released from Blackest Ever Black records. It was released in January of this year and is limited to 500 pressings. The tracks are considered to be Ambient and or experimental. I got this EP as a freebie because the owner of the record company never sent out the Weekend record that I reviewed last week. As an apology they included this record. As it turns out this is a very interesting couple of songs. I probably never would have bought them on my own but I really like the first track.

The A side is a song called Thus They Sang In The GoldenAge. There is a lot of echo on the lead part which sounds similar to a saw being played but with heavy echo processing. There are other back ground sounds going on to help progress the song but it is a no frills ambient track.

The B side is a bit more jarring. This one is called Up ToThe Skies. The lead part is a saxophone playing a trill and a heavily echo processed one note. There are also some backing saxophone parts but this is all that is on the song, Saxophone and echo processing.

Note: who ever uploaded these two tracks got the track names backwards.
I am thinking about doing a double post the week with RSD 2014. That is all I have for now...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 12

Slumberland Records has announced that they will be releasing the first single from the new Pains of Being Pure At Heart album. I jumped off my seat with excitement after hearing this news.

The Wizard Of Oz will have a soundtrack pressing for Record Store Day in emerald green vinyl. It is an interesting release.

Here we go...

This is a greatest hits album from the group. It was released on the 25th of March. It features an unreleased track as the lead of song on the album. The last three tracks on the album are the rare Attic Demos. The album comprises a total of 19 tracks; because of this the album is a bit too long for me. The album also comes with a DVD of various video footage of the band.

The previously unreleased track, Fake Your Death, is not my favorite by any means. It doesn’t have the sound that has made them popular at all. It is just too grand and arena rock style for me. It is like they were going for something that was bigger than they actually were. Maybe this is a part of the problem with the group and why they broke up. They were getting too big for their britches. Either way the rest of the album is a great walk through all their big hits.

This single was supposed to be a part of last weeks singles post but didn’t arrive in time to get it on the post. This is also a picture disc that has the same type of graphic as the Future Foe Scenarios 7” single. This one is not limited by number though. It was only released in the UK though. The song was released as a single nearly a year after the album it comes from was released.

The song Well Thought Out Twinkles is probably one of my favorites from the group. The song is filled with controlled distortion. It is a very fast track that I can listen to over and over again. All I can really say about this song is listen to it and you will probably agree that it is one of the best underground hits ever.

The B-side is a slower song called Mercury. This is another track that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. it is a good slow song but doesn’t keep my interest. The drums are simple, the bass is repeating and there really isn’t a hook in the song that keeps my interest.

I cant say that this single is a necessary item to get. The album that the song comes from, Carnavas is more worth your time.

Black Hearted Brother have a new digital only EP out as of the first of April.
I actually preordered this EP from Amazon. This is the first time I had ever preordered a digital anything ever. I felt kind of dumb preordering a digital album because it is not like they will be out of a digital product ever. This leads me to what I wish would have happened. I wish they would have released this EP at least on CD so I could have had a physical copy, even if it was on CDr.

Anyway, the EP features an edited version of Got Your Love from the album The Stars Are Our Home.

It also features a non-album track called Don’t Take The Weight. It is a slower track that keeps with the theme of the album with the synth sounds and drum hits. The tone of the vocals fits very well with the music. It actually reminds me of the way that Damon Albarn sings on the slower Blur tracks. It is very relaxing and the sounds that swirl around the vocals are dizzying and intoxicating.

The last two tracks are remixes of Got Your Love and are very long. The first of the two remixes, Ricardo Tobar remix, has a lot of noise and becomes distracting and hard to listen to, not my favorite. The second of these two remixes, Ultramarine remix, comes off as somehow more of a shoegaze sound than the original. It is pure genius. The vocals have a spacious echo on them that sounds like your taking a walk through a heavy mist in the forest. The echo on the drum sound adds to the feel. The piano part rings out clear as day and gives me the feel that the sun is about to come out and burn back the mist. I really like this remix and hope that there will be more from black hearted brother in the future. It is hard to say as the members have their hands in so many other pots.

As I have found out after getting this album, this is not the band named Weekend that Slumberland Records have been supporting. Instead this is a band called Weekend that originally released music in the early 80’s. I will admit that I was suspicious that Slumberland’s Weekend had even been together in 81’. I had not found anything on Discogs about this release until after I got it in the mail. Once I had gotten the album and listened to it I was very happy. The music has a light sound that is reminiscent of today’s indie music. I guess what is old is new again. This is the first time that these select songs have been released on vinyl. This set of songs has been previously been released on CD and had also been tacked on to a reissue of the groups first album, La Varieté.

The first track on the album is called Drumbeat. The lyrics don’t come in until the last half of the song and are vary sparse. They are very pretty though and are like a light snow on a frozen landscape. The music is also sparse, the drums are electronic but the guitar is smooth and sexy.

The second track, Red Plaines, reminds me of the tiki music that was popular back in the day. There are no lyrics to this song and this actually works to some extent. The riff is repeated a bit too often for me. It is a good song but I wish it was a bit shorter.

The third track is called Nostalgia. This track has a similar feel as the previous track except it has lyrics. The vocals are very pretty again with this track. I also like the muted guitar part. This song fits a style that I really like.

The last track is called Summerdays (Instrumental). This track is very long and if you have no interest in music that runs into and loops over itself this may not be the track for you. This nine minutes of smooth music that works very well for me. The vocals only add to the song but I could just as easily due without them.

All in all, this demo album is very nice. If you’re into 80s or current independent music this may be the album for you.

With the announcement of a new album from The Black Keys, a new single has been released called Fever. You can get an instant download with the preorder from The Black Keys web page. The song is fun and takes the group in a new direction. The first time I heard the song I was a bit hurt because it was not the sound that I was expecting from them. On further listens I have opened up to the idea that they can branch out into different avenues of old school blues music and use keyboards in a star roll for example. The song lets the bass take the lead for the most part on this track too. I think that Danger Mouse taking the producer position helps to advance this group in those new ways again. I am very excited to get my hands on this album when it is released!

That is all for now...